Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can limit your activities and, overall, make life a little more difficult. While there are ways to make your TMJ better, there are also things that can make it worse.
Spark Sleep Solutions is a Bay Area sleep apnea solutions provider, and we have some tips for which activities to avoid when you have TMJ pain and tenderness. Here is what we recommend not doing.
Don’t Eat Hard Foods
Hard foods can be difficult for the jaw to handle. Apples and bagels are too tough to eat when you have TMJ, and the jaw needs time to rest and recover. Rethink your food choices and go for softer foods that won’t place so much strain on your joints. For example, switch that apple out for some applesauce, as it is easy on the TMJ.
Don’t Chew Gum
Like hard foods, gum requires a lot of strain on the jaw. Your first objective in easing TMJ pain is to lessen the use of your joints. Anything that requires excess chewing like gum should be avoided. Your jaw needs opportunities to rest and recover.
Don’t Rest on Your Chin
You might catch yourself resting your chin on your hand when reading, watching TV, or doing other activities. This act, however, places pressure on the side of the jaw, possibly moving the disc joint out of place. This can increase your TMJ pain. Try to catch yourself when you’re doing this so you can reduce the pain.
Only Perform Functional Jaw Activities
Another Bay Area sleep apnea solutions tip we have is to only use your jaw as needed. Avoid doing things like biting your fingernails or chewing on a pen while you are studying or working. This lessens the amount of work your joint has to do and gives it time to rest.
Don’t Chew on One Side
If you chew strictly on one side of your mouth, you could be placing undue stress on that joint. Try to chew your food evenly on both sides. Be mindful of your chewing habits and be sure to see your dentist if you are having dental problems on one side at Santa Cruz Central sleep apnea solutions.
Don’t Clench Your Teeth
Clenching your teeth, also known as bruxism, occurs while awake or asleep. Stress tends to trigger this, and it can be hard to catch yourself doing it during the day or night. But, when you do catch yourself, it is important to slowly build awareness and relax the muscles. Unless used, our teeth do not necessarily need to touch. You can also ask us about how to get a mouthguard to stop with both daytime and nocturnal clenching and grinding.
Get Sleep Apnea Treatment
As a Santa Cruz central sleep apnea specialist, we provide an array of treatment options and support for TMJ. We do testing and diagnosis and provide oral devices to help with sleeping and pain relief.
Here at Spark Sleep Solutions, our goal is to help you get the best night’s rest possible. If TMJ is causing you pain and sleep loss, contact us to schedule an appointment and learn about your treatment options.