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6 Tips to Make the Most of TMJ Treatments

Tempormandibular joint, or TMJ, disorder usually causes a lot of pain and discomfort in the jaw and surrounding areas. We'll help you get to the root of this problem and help you find some relief from your TMJ symptoms in no time. However, there are a few tips you may want to consider to help you help yourself.

These six valuable tips can help you with your TMJ treatments so you can feel better fast:

1. Eat the right foods

Mashed potatoes, applesauce and other soft foods will help you decrease the discomfort and pain that comes with TMJ disorders. And you'll need to avoid eating hard, sticky or chewy foods.

Chewy foods - chewing gum included - will aggravate your TMJ symptoms. If you must eat hard foods like raw carrots, cut them into smaller pieces or, better yet, take only small bites.

2. Limit extreme jaw movements

Some extreme jaw movements such as yelling out loud or yawning with the entire mouth opened wide will also aggravate TMJ symptoms. Overusing the jaw muscles will cause tension in your temporomandibular joint and can lead to jaw strain.

3. Do jaw exercises

Certain jaw exercises and stretches can also help alleviate TMJ pain. Your dentist or therapist will show you how to do these exercises, which can greatly help relieve TMJ symptoms.

4. Keep stress under control

You'll have to learn how to free yourself from stress, as this can also aggravate your TMJ pain and discomfort. Learn to relax when you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Yoga and meditation can help when stress begins to set in.

5. Wear a bite guard

A bite guard, also known as a stabilization splint, basically helps prevent clenching or grinding of your teeth. They are made from plastic and are custom designed to fit over the upper and lower teeth. Bite guards come in different forms, from soft to firm, and they'll prevent your teeth from touching.

6. Practice heat or cold therapy

Heat packs or ice packs may also help you relax the muscles of your face and jaw. You can consult your dentist on how long this treatment should be used and how exactly the heat or ice packs should be placed for optimum use.

These at-home TMJ treatments are not intended to replace an appointment with a dentist - they are meant to complement your dentist's professional TMJ treatments so you can get the best results.

Should your symptoms worsen after using any of the above tips, consult your dentist immediately.

For more information on TMJ treatments as well as other areas of your dental health, schedule a visit or contact us today at 425-361-0962.

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Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Dentistry has traditionally not considered the airway when planning dental treatments. Fortunately, today there is a rapidly growing movement that now recognizes how dentistry can have an impact on the airway which affects breathing during sleep. If dental treatments, including TMJ, orthopedic and orthodontics are well planned the result can be that the airway is protected or even enhanced. There is a clear link between underdeveloped and retruded jaws together with narrow dental arches that puts a patient at risk for sleep breathing disorders.

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