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Managing TMJ Jaw Pain: The Do’s and Don’ts

November 10, 2016

Did you know that approximately 12 percent of Americans are living with some level of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain? If you’re part of that 12 percent, you’re more than aware that managing TMJ jaw pain can be difficult. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a huge difference to your health.

Managing TMJ Jaw Pain

Take a look at these do’s and don’ts for managing your TMJ jaw pain:

Do take care of yourself.
Practice proper posture throughout the day, be aware of how you’re holding your phone and make sure you’re sleeping in a position that’s good for your jaw. All of these things may seem small, but taking the time to care for yourself can help you to manage your jaw pain.

•  Do think about the foods you’re eating.
There are certain foods, like corn on the cob or raw carrots, that will make your jaw hurt for hours or days afterwards. When planning your meals, look for softer foods including cooked vegetables, smoothies, yogurt and scrambled eggs. Taking the time to think about your meals before you eat can save you from unnecessary pain.

Don’t chew on your fingernails, pens, pencils or ice.
Chewing on these things forces you to thrust your jaw forward, often leading to increased TMJ pain that is difficult to get rid of or even manage.

•  Don’t clench your jaw throughout the day.
Clenching your jaw throughout the day is common and an easy way to aggravate your TMJ pain. During the day, keep resting jaw position in mind—keep your teeth slightly apart, your lips together and your tongue relaxed in your mouth.

•  Don’t try to cover up your TMJ symptoms.
Many people experiencing TMJ pain try to cover up the pain by taking over-the-counter painkillers. While painkillers may be a short-term solution and relief to your pain, they do not help you manage your pain long-term.

One of the best ways to manage your TMJ jaw pain is to find a qualified and experienced medical professional who can help you determine a treatment plan that’s right for you. For individuals who are experiencing TMJ pain in and around Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Mitakides is the medical professional you need to finally get your TMJ symptoms under control. With more than 40 years of experience diagnosing and treating TMJ, he is dedicated to creating a treatment plan just for you, helping to reduce your pain. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mitakides today. Specific questions? Give us a call today at 937-427-3131.