How Can I Avoid TMJ?

 In General Dentistry, Preventative Dentistry

If you experience frequent jaw pain, you might suffer from TMJ. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint disorder that affects your jaw and surrounding muscles. There are treatments for this type of disorder, but it can also be avoided. If you think you might be a candidate for TMJ, here are a few tips and tricks you can try to avoid it!

What Should I Avoid?

1. Clenching

Clenching your jaw is a physical response many have but don’t even realize. It can act as an undetected response to stress or anxiety. Sometimes when you are feeling a certain way your body automatically tenses up. It’s common for your jaw to clench when feeling nervous or upset. Another reason you may clench your jaw is a result of teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can stem again from stress, but also genetics or dental issues. You might grind your teeth in your sleep and not even know it! So if you begin to pay attention to your body and feel it tensing, make a conscious effort to relax your jaw!

2. Excessive Chewing

If you are a notorious gum chewer or like sticky foods, like candy, you might experience TMJ. When your jaw is constantly moving and chewing a sticky substance, the jaw muscles can get sore. TMJ not only affects the jaw, but also the muscles along that bone. So if you are an avoid gum fan, try cutting back on it for a while. As a result, your jaw might feel better!

TMJ Relief

Once you are aware of the reasons you might experience TMJ, it’s important to know what you can do next. There are a few things you can do to relieve TMJ pain. Before trying any of these at home, make sure to call your dentist. Your dentist might have specific treatment options for your individual case. At South Holston Dental, not only do we have immediate relief advice, but also treatment options for long-time sufferers. Contact our office to learn more about them.

While you wait to see your dentist, some options that might provide temporary relief include:

  • Ice or heating pack – be careful when using extreme temperatures so you do not harm yourself!
  • Eating soft foods
  • Anti-inflammatory over the counter medication
  • Jaw exercises
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Mouthguards for night time

For more information on TMJ and to see if you are suffering from this condition, check out our office. At South Holston Dental we provide a variety of dental services to best meet your needs. If you are uncomfortable or suffering from dental pain, call us right away. You can visit us online here or reach us at (276) 466-9800 to schedule an appointment. There is no need to suffer any longer! Come check us out today.

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