Did you know that temporomandibular joint and muscle, also known as TMJ, disorders are the second leading cause of musculoskeletal pain? Research and surveys suggest that close to 10 million Americans are affected by a TMJ disorder, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the bone located at the side of your head. This joint is flexible, so it enables us to talk, yawn and chew. TMJ disorders cause problems in and near the jaw joint or muscles, and pain can be mild to severe—each case is different. Sometimes the pain eases by itself. During those times of pain and discomfort, you feel out of sorts and distressed. Try to relax because it’s proven to help ease TMJ pain. Your Towson, MD dentist offers helpful tips to help you.
Meditation and stretching
Tense muscles can cause discomfort. Take a deep breath and start an exercise routine that involves a lot of stretching and meditation, such as yoga. It’s important to relieve tension in the body, so your mind is relaxed. Thus, you can decrease your stress. It’s a common trigger of TMJ pain because people tend to clench their jaw or grind their teeth when they are stressed or anxious.
Foods to avoid
When your TMJ pain flares up, it’s essential to watch what you eat. Crunchy, chewy and fatty foods tend to make matters worse for patients with a TMJ disorder. Why? Well, you need to use significant pressure to chew crunchy, hard food, which may irritate your jaw joint or muscle. In relation to chewy food, you typically overwork your jaw to break down the food, and research suggests that fatty food may increase inflammation in the body—an irritated TMJ could worsen when your diet consists of too many fatty foods.
Stop teeth grinding and clenching of your jaw
Most people don’t realize they clench their jaw and grind their teeth. These are two common responses to stress, anxiety and exhaustion. It’s harder to avoid these habits during sleep. A sleep apnea device can help alleviate TMJ pain.
In Towson, TMJ treatment is best left to Dr. Mehdi Zamani at Advanced Dental Care. Dr. Zamani can suggest proper techniques for stretching and relaxing the jaw. Feel confident about your TMJ Towson treatment!