While many people relish the sunny days of summer, it can be difficult to enjoy all that the season has to offer if you have persistent temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. Under the guidance of Dr. Ivan Stein, a New Jersey TMJ specialist, you don’t have to let this discomfort sideline you from soaking up the summer.
The following are Dr. Stein’s tips for surviving summer with TMJ pain.
Embrace the Warmth
Joints like the TMJ actually tend to loosen in warm, balmy weather. Take advantage of the warmer temperatures with outdoor activities like swimming or biking. Relaxing in a Jacuzzi or taking warm baths are also good strategies for soothing sore jaw muscles.
Avoid Tough, Chewy Foods
Delicious barbecue staples like grilled steak and corn on the cob can put stress on your jaw joint — so can opening your mouth wide to bite into a juicy peach. While you can cut the corn off of the cob and slice your peaches into manageable bites, try to avoid tough meats or other foods that require opening your mouth wide to eat. Consider other summertime treats that are soft and tender, like delectable berries and slow-cooked barbecued meats.
As temperatures rise, it is easy to become dehydrated, which is detrimental to your joints, including your jaw joint. Make sure to drink plenty of water and sugar-free beverages consistently throughout the day to stay hydrated. You can add herbs or fresh fruit to your water to make it more appealing and refreshing.
Also, watch your consumption of caffeinated beverages; coffee and energy drinks can make you jittery and cause teeth grinding or clenching that exacerbates TMJ pain.
Watch for rising stress levels if you find you have too much on your plate this summer. Work on managing anxiety and tension in whatever way works for you. Perhaps that means following guided meditations as you sit on your porch after work, or doing high-intensity workouts in the cool morning hours. Whatever measures you take, keeping stress to a minimum is ultimately good for your TMJ disorder.
Help Is Only a Call or Email Away
If you are suffering from persistent TMJ pain that does not seem to let up, no matter what you do, it might be time to consider professional help. At the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey, Dr. Stein has helped patients just like you get the pain relief they desire. Call or email us to request a consultation today.