You’ve been having jaw pain for months now, and your doctor just diagnosed you with temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder. Your first thought is probably, “Now what?” Don’t worry: Dr. Ivan Stein of the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey has you covered. Read on for his best advice.
Knowledge is power, and the more knowledgeable you are about your diagnosis, the easier it will be to find the right care for your needs. Be careful about relying solely on Google, as it can be hard to tell whether the information you are consuming is accurate and trustworthy.
Your best bet is to seek out the expertise of a reputable TMJ specialist like Dr. Stein, who can help you understand what caused your TMJ problems and what your treatment options are.
Connect With Others
With TMJ, you will face unique challenges that only people who have the same diagnosis can understand. Finding a support group can be tremendously helpful to your physical and mental health. Look for in-person or online support groups for people with TMJ. You can learn from members of these groups and go to them for support or encouragement when you need it.
Learn to Advocate for Yourself
Receiving any medical diagnosis, including TMJ disorder, may cause you to feel helpless or out of control in your body. Take back control by being your own health advocate. Whether it’s your first appointment or your tenth appointment with a TMJ specialist, do not be afraid to speak up or ask questions if something seems unclear. Ask for what you need and know that you are never “bothering” your doctor by requesting clarification or additional resources. Fully engage in all discussions about your treatment decisions, so you can feel confident in the direction your doctor takes. If you need some extra support, consider bringing a trusted loved one to your appointments.
Let Go of Fears and Anxieties
It can feel scary to experience the symptoms of TMJ and the effect they have on simple tasks like eating, speaking and yawning. You may find your mood, outlook and attitude are all affected by your diagnosis. But remember that you are not alone. With the help of a qualified medical team supporting you, you can live a happy, healthy and productive life.
Dr. Stein has been improving the lives of people with TMJ disorder for many years. To request a consultation with him to discuss your diagnosis, please call or email us today.