If you suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you know how painful it can be. Also known as TMD, TMJ disorder is associated with clenching or grinding the teeth at night, which exacerbates the problem. The best way to help relieve TMD pain is to visit Dr. Darian Hampton, a TMJ specialist in the Dallas area, so he can evaluate your oral health and suggest effective treatment options.
In the meantime, here are three helpful tips to alleviate the pain associated with TMD while you are at home, work or school.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
We understand that having a strong cup of coffee in the morning or a relaxing glass of wine in the evening can be appealing. However, for those who suffer from TMD, these stimulants can aggravate the problem. Consuming caffeine and alcohol can cause you to clench or grind your teeth subconsciously, putting added stress on your TMJ and the surrounding muscles. If you cannot give up these habits completely, try to stop drinking caffeine or alcohol in the late afternoon or evening to help you avoid clenching your teeth unwittingly while you sleep.
When we suggest exercising, we actually mean that you should try to do specific jaw exercises that have been shown to help alleviate TMD.
One such exercise involves placing the tip of your thumb underneath the center of your chin. Next, slowly open your mouth by lowering your lower jaw while using your thumb to apply light, steady pressure to the underside of your chin. Keep your mouth open for three to six seconds then slowly close your mouth. Repeat this exercise five times.
Another exercise involves holding the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, as you open and close your jaw slowly. Repeat this exercise multiple times.
Stress is a major contributing factor to TMD. When you are feeling stressed, you might, again, find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth. Thus, one way to help manage your TMD is to manage your stress levels. You can help manage stress by taking a warm bath, taking a yoga class, walking your dog or talking to a friend or loved one. Do something every day to keep stress levels low.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hampton to discuss your TMD treatment options in North Dallas, contact The Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry by calling (972) 395-9292.