If you deal with consistent stiffness, pain and tension around your jaw, you could be dealing with a temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ problems can worsen over time. If you experience severe symptoms, talk to your dentist about a diagnosis and TMJ treatment Broomfield CO. Also, there are small changes you can make at home that may help alleviate and prevent TMJ pain.
Give Your Muscles a Break
If you chew gum, it’s probably a good time to break that habit. The constant motion can make TMJ pain worse and can lead to more stiffness in the joint. In fact, if you have any chewing or biting habits, take steps to stop them altogether. When you’re eating, try to take smaller bites. You won’t have to open your mouth as wide, putting less pressure on your jaw, and chewing can be less effortful as well. Finally, learn to be a better listener. Lots of talking activates your jaw muscles and joints so try to give them a break when you can.
Find Ways to Reduce Stress
One of the leading causes of TMJ pain is stress. If you can find ways to reduce some of the stress in your life, you’re likely to experience less pain overall, including in your jaw. Regular exercise is one of the number-one ways to reduce stress so get active and try to work out at least a little every day. Better sleep can help lower your stress levels too, so make healthy rest a priority in your life. If you need to, talk to a professional therapist about developing strategies to eliminate unnecessary stressors.
Try an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Certain foods have been shown to cause inflammation of the joints. Try to avoid these types of foods, including:
- Refined sugars
- Processed red meat
- Fried foods
- Trans fats
Instead, try to stick with an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce swelling.
Always consult your dentist about concerns you may have with your jaw. By making some simple lifestyle changes, you can take great strides in reducing your TMJ pain.