TMJ is hard to live with and it can really affect your life with eating, talking, singing, and or anything to do with stretching or exercising the jaw. Neuromuscular dentists who’ve dealt with TMJ treatment in Pittsburgh know some of the best things you can do to treat TMJ. You can do a lot to heal it and fend off the pain as long as you are disciplined in following these practices.
What is TMJ?
There is a ball-and-socket joint that is located where the lower jaw and upper jaw meet… This joint is called the temporomandibular joint. Also known as “TMJ”.
If this TMJ area is injured it can take some time to heal. There are some great steps you can take to ensure you do your best in helping TMJ heal. The more you follow these steps, the quicker it will heal.
1 – Treat your TMJ right… be gentle.
- Choose to eat softer foods that do not put any undue pressure on your TMJ. If you do not take care of your TMJ and you push your limits with it, it could cause you to not even be able to chew at all.
- The foods you should eat are softer foods like pasta, eggs, fish, bananas, yogurt, soups, bread, smoothies, and the list goes on. If you think about it, you will be able to figure out what foods will be soft enough to eat. If you decide to eat meat, choose softer meat such as ground beef. Ice cream is really nice and the cold feels good, plus it is quite a treat! If you are looking to go healthier, yogurt is a great choice.
2 – Use an anti-inflammatory process.
Be sure you ice it and you heat it. If you ice it, it will decrease your inflammation and swelling along with your pain and when you heat it, it can increase the blood flow and better relax TMJ.
When you apply the ice, be sure you do it for 10-25 minutes and you can do it again after 30 minutes as often as you want. The best thing to use is a gel pack because of its ability to shape around the jaw well. You can use a heating pack on your jaw as well. You can alternate going back and forth with icing and heating. This will not only help with the pain and swelling but also help with speeding up the recovery process.
3 – Stay away from things that make your TMJ even worse.
- There are certain triggers that will have your TMJ flaring up. Make sure you are staying away from eating foods that are hard, make sure when you yawn that you are supporting your jaw. Be very careful when doing anything that would cause you to have to open your mouth wide – keep jaw movement to a minimum.
- Avoid foods such as hard chips, apples, nuts, steak, chicken, beef jerky, raw vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and fruit such as apples.
- If you can eat most of your meals in the form of soups, shakes, and extremely soft foods such as noodles and softer loaves of bread, that would be ideal. Opt for soft lunch meats, tofu, white rice, quinoa, and other soft foods.
If you follow all these things, you will find you will keep your TMJ at bay and you should not have to struggle with the pain or the inflammation as your TMJ is healing. Do your best to live carefully and follow the guide above if you would like to get things back to normal as soon as possible.