Your dentist may be able to treat your TMJ. However, while you are working with him or her, you might also want to take other measures to alleviate TMJ.
Yawn Carefully and Maintain Good Posture
When you are yawning, be careful. This can overextend your jaw and exacerbate TMJ. Also, if you sit in a slumped over position, this can exacerbate your TMJ.
Eat the Right Foods
Take small bites of food. Then, your jaw will not have to work as hard to chew your food. The best foods to avoid eating are those that are hard and crunchy. If you would really like to eat these, eat them more slowly to avoid placing too much strain on your jaw. The more soft food you eat, the more your jaw will be able to rest. Avoid gum altogether.
Avoid the Wrong Foods
Eat canned vegetables. Most dairy food is soft enough. Fruit juices and any fruit that is cut into small pieces is usually soft enough. Get carbs from rice, pasta and soft bread. Tuna, eggs and boiled chicken and turkey are all very soft.
Chewy foods are a bad choice if you have TMJ. Do not eat sausage, steak or beef jerky because this will take awhile to chew. Raw vegetables, especially onions and green peppers, also force you to chew. Harder foods, such as popcorn and nuts, should be avoided.
Even if you avoid eating hard food, you may find yourself with jaw pain after grinding your teeth at night. One way to avoid this is to ask your dentist to provide you with a splint. This is a prosthetic device that you wear at night while you are sleeping. Your dentist may also ask you to wear it during the day.
Get a Splint
The two main types of splints are the stabilization splint and the repositioning splint. The stabilization splint is worn to prevent clenching. It is designed to cover your teeth and is flat.
Repositioning splints are designed to move the jaw forward so that it is in the proper position. These need to be worn 24 hours a day. Wearing the splints allows for the muscles and ligaments to relax. This eliminates the sensation of tightness that can cause discomfort. Also, if your jaw is gradually moved to the correct position, this will eliminate TMJ.
TMJ can be difficult to eliminate. Therefore, if you truly want to be free from this condition, you should consider seeing a dentist specialized in this problem. Try talking to a professional at a company like Today's Dental to learn more.
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