Everyday Changes to Improve TMJ Pain
October 29, 2015
Diagnosing and treating TMJ effectively should only be done by a qualified and trained medical professional, like Dr. Mitakides and The TMJ Treatment Center team. When it comes to dealing with craniofacial pain and the ways the jaw, neck, back, head and corresponding muscles work together, compromising on care isn’t an option.
But, if you are living with pain while you wait for your appointment, there are a few things you can do to bring relief without jeopardizing your health or well-being.
Stress is bad for your health
Stress can negatively impact your health in many ways, such as causing diseases, stress-related overeating or smoking, depression and cardiovascular issues.
One of the biggest causes of TMJ pain is stress. Both physical and emotional stress can be significant factors causing headaches, neck and back pain, trouble sleeping and teeth grinding. Reducing stress may be easier said than done in some cases, but being aware and actively trying to improve the stress in your life will positively impact your health in many ways.
By identifying the cause of stress, many people are able to address it. Physical activities like walking, as well as socialization, can lead to reduced stress levels and better overall health. Relaxation is key, so slow breathing, yoga, massage or meditation can make a world of difference to the stress in your life.
Change your diet
Another change you can make to impact your health is what you eat. To improve TMJ pain and triggers, switch to softer foods. Hard, crunchy or overly-chewy foods (think caramels) can wreak havoc on your TMJ. By switching to softer foods, you will give your jaw a much-needed break. Cutting food into smaller bites will also prevent overstrain and further damage to the jaw muscles.
Ice and heat bring relief
Alternating between heat and ice on your temple and the side of your face can reduce pain and inflammation. Intervals of 10 minutes of heat, three minutes of ice and then another 10 minutes of heat can bring relief when applied at a comfortable temperature.
The best way to treat the pain and discomfort caused by your TMJ issues is to make an appointment with a doctor who understands TMJ and craniofacial pain and has experience treating the disorder. Contact Dr. Mitakides to make an appointment or visit the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain to find an equally qualified medical professional near you.