Aloha. I’m Dr. Sean Delaney with Kalani Total Health Center.
Today we’re going to talk about dealing with TMJ.
If you’re a person out there that’s dealing with a TMJ issue, you realize and you know how painful it can be. For those of us that don’t have a TMJ issue, we don’t realize how much we open and close our mouths or use those muscles of mastication.
At-Home TMJ Treatment
Things that we can consider doing when we’re at home, or non-clinical treatments, are taking over-the-counter medication to help try to alleviate the pain and inflammation, wearing a mouth guard, especially at night while we’re sleeping to decrease our teeth grinding or clenching down really hard on our jaw or our mouth while we’re sleeping. Another easy thing to do at home is using ice and heat directly onto the painful side of the face or jaw
Those are quick and easy.
But here are some must-dos, if you are dealing with a TMJ issue.
Stop Eating Hard or Solid Foods
You must implement a softer food diet. Eating softer foods allows your jaw muscles and the TMJ joint itself to relax a little bit and not work as hard, giving it a chance to recover and start healing.
Some things you definitely want to avoid are chewing gum, biting your nails, even crunching down on ice, or biting your lower lip. Those are all things that really screw up and overwork the muscles as well as the joint and how it is performing.
Some of these softer foods include easy things like soup, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, steamed vegetables, and some nice baked fish. Those are just some examples of softer foods.
We want to try to get away from the solid food and move towards a softer food diet while we’re experiencing the pain and allow the TMJ to heal.
Some other things you definitely want to avoid when it comes to food are certain meats, especially chewy meat like steak. You want to definitely try to avoid bread like bagels or other types of chewy products like gummy bears. Things that require you to just chew and chew and chew.
Obviously, you don’t want to be crunching down really hard because it’s just going to add to the problem and cause more pain and more inflammation, which is going to take even longer to heal.
TMJ Chewing Habits
Another thing that’s important is to try to chew your food evenly on both sides of your mouth at the same time. That way you’re starting to work the muscles equally, using the same type of pressure on each side and not overworking one side over the other.
If that is a little too uncomfortable for you and you really prefer chewing on one side, try to alternate sides when you’re eating. Maybe four or five chews on one side and then switch to the other side of your mouth for four or five chews.
Those are just some things that I would suggest you start doing if you have a TMJ issue, but more importantly, if you are experiencing jaw pain, a TMJ issue, or you’re just not sure what’s going on,
give us a call, and schedule an appointment.
Come on down. We would love to give you an evaluation and try to help you figure out what the root cause of your problem is and get you on a path to optimal health.
I’m Doctor Sean Delaney at Kalani Total Health Center. We are your one-stop holistic health shop.