If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, or think that you might, then it is likely that you are desperate for advice on reliable ways to manage the pain and improve your condition. Below is a list of do’s and don’ts that may be helpful for anyone experiencing TMJ disorder symptoms.
DO see your dentist for a thorough evaluation of your TMJ and to discuss your particular symptoms. No one is better than a dental professional to diagnose and treat this condition.
DON’T put off evaluation or treatment of your condition. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to complete and long-term recovery. The longer you delay, the more extensive and more expensive the treatment is likely to become.
DO be proactive at home. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and dysfunction and put you on the path to recovery.
DON’T take treatment into your own hands. Avoid the tendency to self-diagnose and self-treat the problem with medication and/or at home remedies.
DO eat liquid foods like shakes, smoothies and soups. This will provide some much needed relief to the exhausted muscles and ligaments that are working overtime to compensate for the problems in the joint.
DON’T eat chewing gum, hard and crunchy foods or sticky candies that can exacerbate and accelerate damage to the joint.
DON’T eat large foods that require you to overstretch in order to stuff them in your mouth (sorry, no triple decker cheeseburgers). Instead, get used to cutting your food into smaller bites and consider eating smaller portions of food to limit the overall number of chews necessary to consume your food.
DO make a diary or journal to monitor and track the conditions that cause painful episodes. This may include certain types of food or times of day that make you particularly vulnerable to flare-ups.
DON’T ignore symptoms or allow your stomach to overpower your better judgment when it comes to choosing foods that could worsen your condition.
While Temporomandibular Joint problems are not life threatening, they can definitely be life altering. Even if it seems to cramp your style so to speak or be particularly inconvenient, simply following the above list of dos and don’ts as well as using good ol’ common sense can help you avoid painful episodes.