TMJ, or tempomandibular joint disorder, can be extremely painful. It occurs when a person tightens his or her jaw muscles. The American Dental Association explains that TMJ can be caused by tooth or jaw misalignment, bruxism, injury, or dislocation. To lower the pain, there are a few oral care tips that should be helpful.
- Stop Grinding Teeth. People who grind their teeth continuously commonly suffer from TMJ. It is important to relax, especially the jaw muscles. While at rest, it is wise to place your tongue at the top of your mouth to keep your upper and lower teeth separate.
- Proper Diet. Any foods that contain caffeine should be avoided. This stimulant causes muscle contractions, including in the jaw. Also, it is wise to fill mealtime with soft foods like soup and yogurt. Chewy foods place extra strain on the muscles.
- Heat/Ice Packs. Applying moist heat or ice packs to your jaw may eliminate discomfort. They help decrease inflammation as well.
- Keep Mouth Closed. TMJ is usually at its worst when your mouth is left open for prolonged periods of time. It is best to avoid dental procedures that require you to open your mouth wide.
- OTC Pain Relievers. There are numerous medicines that line store shelves. These OTC treatments decrease inflamed muscles and decrease your pain.
How Your Dentist Can Help:
If you have been diagnosed with TMJ, there are a few ways that your dentist can help. For example, this dental expert can recommend exercises that help strengthen your muscles. Also, you may be fitted for a mouthguard so that you stop grinding your teeth.
For more dental tips regarding TMJ, feel free to schedule an appointment at Stoner Periodontic Associates. The entire staff is dedicated to providing help so that patients experience optimum oral health.