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Surviving Summer with TMJ

June 9, 2016

Summertime. It’s warm, the sun is shining, you’re having friends over for cookouts and pool parties, and you’re spending time in the great outdoors. But, if you have uncontrolled temporomandibular (TMJ) joint pain, the hot summer months can be uncomfortable. During the season when your friends and family are enjoying each other’s company, you may be dealing with a TMJ symptom flare.

Stop worrying about TMJ flares and start enjoying your summer. Take a look at these tips for reducing your TMJ symptoms and savoring the summer weather:

Avoid Peak Heat Hours – While peak heat hours are dependent on your geographic location, it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid spending long amounts of time outside between 3-6 p.m. Even though the sun isn’t out in full force at that time, the heat and humidity typically hit a daily high between those hours. So, if you’re planning an outdoor activity with friends or family, try to avoid this three-hour window each day.

Stay Hydrated – One of the most important things for avoiding a TMJ symptom flare is to stay hydrated. Drinking water consistently throughout the day will keep your body hydrated and will help to relax the muscles in your jaw, neck and shoulders. Going out for the day? Whether you’ll be indoors or out, consider bringing along a water bottle so you can drink and stay hydrated while you’re away from home, which will help to avoid aggravating your TMJ symptoms.

Consider a Dehumidifier – Sometimes it isn’t just the heat that gets to you, it’s also the humidity. If you’ve noticed that your TMJ symptoms worsen with extreme changes in temperature, you are not alone. The humidity may make your jaw muscles tense just as much as the winter cold. To keep your symptoms under control while you’re indoors, consider purchasing a dehumidifier to keep your home comfortable throughout the summer months.

Relax – Did you know your TMJ symptoms may be tied to stress (link to May blog post on TMJ + Stress)? When you’re stressed, you may find yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, especially at night while you’re sleeping. Summer is the perfect time to relax and try to eliminate any unnecessary stress in your life. Not only will it help to relieve some of your TMJ pain, but it will help you to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and activities.

Summer should be a time for fun, not for pain. If you’re struggling with untreated TMJ pain, it’s time to consult an experienced medical professional. Dr. Mitakides and the TMJ Treatment Center staff have been helping patients who have been diagnosed with TMJ manage their pain for more than 40 years. Beat the heat and your TMJ pain this summer—give us a call at 937-427-3131 to set up an appointment today!