At Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey, we realize that living with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, or TMD, can be frustrating. TMD is often difficult to diagnose as well as to treat, because so many factors play a role in the development of TMD and any flare-ups you might experience. Nonetheless, try some of the following tips to alleviate your TMJ pain and help prevent flare-ups of TMD.
Wear a Bite Guard at Night
TMD is often caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching, which, in turn, can be caused by a number of factors such as a misaligned bite, orthodontic treatment or even stress. Grinding or clenching your teeth can be particularly hard to control at night while sleeping. However, your dentist can provide you with a custom-fitted bite guard to help protect your teeth and jaw while you sleep, which may help prevent the related TMD flare-ups.
Avoid Chewing Gum
The repeated jaw motion required to chew gum can exacerbate TMD pain. If you suffer from TMD and like to chew gum as a way to freshen your breath, try rinsing with mouthwash instead.
Chronic stress can cause so many physiological problems, from ulcers to excessive weight gain to TMD pain. Often, individuals who grind their teeth find themselves doing so when they are under a lot of stress. Thus, one of the best things you can do to help prevent TMJ disorder or any flare-ups is to stay as calm as possible. Exercise, warm baths, massage, aromatherapy or simply talking to friends are a few ways to keep your stress levels low.
Practice Specific TMJ Exercises
You can practice specific mouth and jaw exercises to help alleviate your TMD pain and aid in TMD prevention. Try pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth then open your mouth wide like you are yawning. Repeat this exercise several times until you start to feel less pressure throughout your jaw area.
Seek Medical Help
If you suffer from chronic or sporadic jaw pain, headaches, a clicking sound in your jaw while you chew, ringing in your ears or other painful or bothersome symptoms throughout your face, jaw, neck and shoulder area, let us help. We can assist you in pinpointing the cause of your TMD and recommend a variety of treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ivan F. Stein or his knowledgeable team of TMJ specialists, contact Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey by calling (855) 865-3627.