The temporomandibular joint functions as a sliding hinge, linking your jawbone and skull. Various conditions can affect the temporomandibular joint and the surrounding ligaments and muscles, which causes TMJ Bronx syndrome. The disorder may come from a jaw injury, an improper bite, joint erosion, regular grinding or clenching of teeth, or structural jaw issues from birth. You may also be at risk of TMJ disorder because of poor posture that strains the muscles and ligaments in your face and neck.
Additionally, you may be susceptible to TMJ disorders if you have prolonged stress, joint hypermobility syndrome, or fluctuating estrogen levels. For instance, studies show that women are more at risk of TMJ disorders than men because they undergo various life stages, such as pregnancy and menopause, which may cause fluctuating estrogen levels that may trigger the condition.
Consequently, below are a few tips that can help you get relief from TMJ pain.
- Provide adequate rest for your jaw
Ensure you avoid opening your jaw extensively when chewing, swallowing, singing, or talking.
Minimizing or avoiding wide jaw movements can help keep the muscles and ligaments of the temporomandibular joint relaxed, which can help relieve pressure and pain.
- Adopt the correct posture
Poor posture strains your bones and joints because of the misalignment of your spine. A misaligned spine causes the lower jaw to protrude forward, creating an improper bite.
An incorrect bite is one of the leading causes of TMJ disorders.
Hunching and slouching, forward head posture, and uneven shoulders are all bad postures that increase your risk of TMJ pain.
Therefore, assume a healthy posture when watching your favorite movie, reading, sleeping, driving, sitting, or standing. For instance, if watching TV for long periods, regularly change your sitting position.
- Get enough sleep
The Sleep Foundation recommends that a healthy adult should spend between 7 to 9 hours sleeping at night. As you sleep, your body releases a growth hormone that promotes growth and repair.
Hence, when you have a night of adequate sleep, you give your body enough time to grow and repair itself, which can reduce pain from TMJ disorders and other conditions.
Also, ensure the sleeping positions do not trigger or aggravate TMJ pain as you sleep. For example, avoid sleeping on your stomach since it strains the muscles and ligaments of your jaw. And when sleeping on your side, avoid placing your hand on the jaw.
- Hot and cold therapy
Alternatingly apply hot and cold packs in the area with TMJ pain for about 25 minutes, a process you repeat a few times after every two or three hours. Heat is essential for increasing blood circulation, while ice eases inflammation.
It is also possible to benefit from TMJ pain relief by reducing stress levels, exercising your jaws frequently, and avoiding particular foods and bad habits. Avoid chewy or crunchy foods such as raw carrots, whole apples, and bagels.
Bad habits that may affect your temporomandibular joint and cause pain are clenching or grinding your teeth, biting your nails, or using your teeth to hold items or open bottles.
Contact Advanced Dental Care of Riverdale today to schedule an appointment with a TMJ specialist.