UPDATE: For detailed information and practical steps to help you beat TMJ disorder naturally, take a look at TMJ No More.
It can be debilitating and painful, and yet very few people know how to deal with it.
If you happen to be somebody who suffers from TMJ disorder then you know that you want to work through the discomfort to find a cure.
The good news is that there are a lot of effective ways to minimize the pain and make this condition livable.
The problem is that not a lot of doctors know how to diagnosis it much less help you to beat it.
Do your research to become an educated patient
There are some wonderful doctors and dentists who are progressive in their thinking.
You want to do your research to find such a medical professional but also to be a truly informed patient as well.
The best advice when you are trying to get control over this disorder is to start by evaluating the pain and when it comes to you the most. You will find that keeping a journal or a running tab of when the symptoms come about can help you to find your coping mechanism.
This may be a very individual disorder for it can affect different people in some unusual ways.
Stay ahead of the pain and discomfort whenever possible
We tend to think of TMJ as one problem but even though there are common symptoms, it may impact you differently than somebody else.
Keep that in mind but also know that the way that you keep track of it will help you in alleviating the pain in the long run.
In the end you are going to try hard to keep yourself from grinding or clenching your teeth—that’s the most important part of this and perhaps what people struggle with the most!
Understand how this happens and even though it is involuntary you want to do your part to stay ahead of it. If you know that you are somebody who is doing this at night, then try to understand how or why.
In the end one of the best ways to cope with and ultimately TMJ disorder is to find effective ways to work through the pain.
There are some great options and you may very well find that TMJ becomes less cumbersome and therefore you get your life back.
You can beat TMJ if you are proactive and keep at it
You might think that you are stuck with this disorder for the rest of your life but it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are some helpful ways to alleviate the pain and even try to stay ahead of it.
You may not necessarily think they will work until you try them.
Though TMJ disorder can be very frustrating to live with, arming yourself with knowledge and the right tools can help. These are the methods to help you and to ensure that you make this a problem of the past.
Know how to work around it whenever possible:
If you know that you tend to clench your teeth at night after a stressful day, then try to relax before bedtime.
If you know that not getting enough sleep means that you are constantly grinding your teeth then set a relaxed atmosphere. Sometimes allowing yourself to relax before you drift off to sleep can be a wonderful way to help this condition.
Many people can point to certain circumstances that happen throughout their day or right before bed which can contribute to this condition.
If you wake up and notice that you had a particularly painful teeth clenching session then by all means think through what went wrong.
The best thing that you can do here is to try to work around the source of the problem whenever possible. It may not always be easy and it may take some work to figure out, but a proactive strategy is within your grasp.
Trying to find some short term fixes for working the pain or alleviating the symptoms or circumstances will help you tremendously in the long term.
Try it for yourself and see just how much you truly can work through the contributing factors.
Work through the pain by eating soft foods for example: If you have had a particularly painful clenching session then you have to do your part to minimize the pain you feel now.
This can mean that you simply turn to softer foods when the pain becomes unbearable.
Sure it’s a short term strategy, but it can help you when you feel desperate and out of options.
Try to keep some softer foods on hand so that you are ready if the TMJ symptoms become too much. Hopefully as time goes on and you become more proactive you don’t have to do this often, but it’s a good starting point.
Turn to foods such as applesauce, yoghurt, cottage cheese, and the like to help you. That way you are still taking in some nutrition but you aren’t causing the pain to worsen.
Eventually you will hopefully get to the point where you no longer need these soft foods, but everyone has to start somewhere.
Get tools which will help you to avoid the pain: If you want to do your part to combat TMJ disorder once and for all, then it may be time to invest in some tools.
You can find mouth guards and other helpful tools, primarily through your dentist or doctor.
If you know that you are clenching your teeth a lot at night, then these tools can be a true lifesaver.
The best part of these tools is that they have evidence to help in the long term If you are fitted for and diligently use a mouth guard for example, then it may cause the disorder to become less problematic.
There are tools to help with just about every health problem out there, and TMJ disorder is no different. There is absolutely no shame in turning to this sort of help and it may be the best investment that you make into your health.
Learn how to relax to avoid clinching the teeth: Again we all have bad habits that come about, particularly due to stress. Understand that some of this is caused by the movement your jaw allows unbeknownst to you.
If you find that you are somebody who tends to clench your teeth after a particularly stressful day, then it’s time to find some coping mechanisms.
Meditating before bed or even turning to deep breathing or visualization can help out a lot.
Figure out what helps you to relax and then use this as an effective part of your night time routine. It may help you to push out all of the negative and stressful thoughts.
The key is to stay ahead of the pain and learning to manage your stress is an excellent way to do so. When you are relaxed before bed, then there is less of a likelihood that you may clench your teeth at all.
It may not work all the time, but it’s well worth a try - stress management is an effective part of a healthy lifestyle as well!
Use heat if the pain becomes too much: Many people swear by heat for recurring bouts of TMJ pain.
Seeing as this can be a sensitive area, you want to be careful about your approach here. It may be as simple as sipping on a hot cup of tea, or it may be necessary to apply a small heating pad to the jaw directly.
Play around with this and figure out what provides you with the most relief. Heat is usually best used in small intervals, and it may provide you with a wonderful coping mechanism.
This may also be a short term strategy, but when that TMJ pain becomes too much you will try anything.
TMJ disorder can be a very difficult health problem to cope with.
These strategies may provide some short term relief and lead to long term healing. Try to stay ahead of the problem and you will find that it has less of an impact on your life.
You truly have the power to make TMJ disorder a thing of the past - and now you have some helpful ways to work towards that!