If you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, then you know how difficult the condition can make everyday life. TMJ disorder, which is the result of chronic stress on the temporomandibular joint, can cause an array of painful or uncomfortable symptoms, including jaw pain, soreness, headaches, back pain and sinus pain.
The good news is that there are several lifestyle changes you can make in order to manage TMJ disorder. West Orange dentist and TMJ specialist Dr. Ivan Stein explains more in this blog post.
Manage Your Stress
Chronic stress is a known cause of bruxism (teeth grinding and jaw clenching), which in turn can lead to TMJ disorder. Managing stress through meditation, therapy, yoga and exercise can relieve stress, bruxism and related TMJ pain.
Avoid Biting Your Nails
Nail-biters are more prone to develop bruxism, as are individuals who chew on pencils, ice, bottle caps and other items. Nail biting in particular is a habit that can have other harmful effects on your teeth, such as damage to the teeth and gums. If you’re a chronic nail-biter, it’s in your best interest to stop.
Adjust Your Sleeping Position
If you have TMJ disorder, sleeping on your stomach can put extra pressure on your jaw and worsen your symptoms. If this is the case and you wake up in the morning with jaw pain or soreness, try sleeping on your back to help minimize jaw tension.
Eat Softer Foods
Biting down on crunchy, tough or hard foods can put added stress on your jaw. Try to limit or avoid crunchy or hard foods and instead eat soft foods (e.g., soups, mashed potatoes, boiled veggies, stews) that relieve stress on your jaw muscles. It’s also a good idea to cut your food into smaller pieces, which will help you avoid opening your mouth too wide and possibly locking your jaw in place.
If conservative at-home therapies are not enough to relieve your TMJ pain and discomfort, it’s time to seek professional help. A TMJ specialist like Dr. Stein can assess your symptoms to determine the best course of treatment. Depending on the cause and symptoms of your TMJ disorder, Dr. Stein may recommend orthotic therapy, laser therapy and ultrasound therapy.
To learn more about TMJ disorder treatment in New Jersey, please schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Stein. Call (855) 865-3627 or email our office today.