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Lifestyle Adjustments for Managing TMJ: Insights from Bend’s Top Dentist

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a painful condition that affects the jaws, as well as the muscles and nerves of the face. Symptoms can include jaw pain, clicking or popping of the joint, limited movement and soreness of the neck and shoulders. TMJ can greatly impact a person’s lifestyle, and effective management of the condition typically requires a combination of treatment approaches.

In this article, we’ll delve into some lifestyle adjustments that can help to effectively manage TMJ. We’ll also be hearing from Bend’s top dentist, Dr. Charlie Wilson, who will provide his insights on the subject.

What is TMJ?

TMJ disorder is a condition that arises when the temporomandibular joint – the hinge joint that connects your jaw to the side of your skull – becomes inflamed. This can be the result of a number of different factors, including a misaligned bite, teeth grinding or clenching, and stress.

Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ include: aching or tenderness of the jaw; clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth; difficulty or pain when chewing; lockjaw; aching or pain in the neck, shoulders and back; and even headaches.

TMJ can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, especially if the disorder goes untreated. The good news is that there are several lifestyle adjustments that can help to effectively manage the condition.

Lifestyle Adjustments for Managing TMJ

Establish a Regular Routine: Sometimes, a simple lifestyle change can make a world of difference when it comes to managing TMJ. Try to establish a regular routine that includes a good balance of rest, exercise, and relaxation. If possible, try to plan your day in such a way that you prevent or reduce the amount of activities that may worsen your symptoms.

Practice Good Posture: Several studies have shown that poor posture can act as a trigger for TMJ symptoms. Try to be mindful of your posture and make a conscious effort to sit up straight. Additionally, when carrying out day-to-day activities such as lifting or reaching, remember to use your lower back and legs, rather than your upper body.

Take Breaks From Computer Work: Spending long periods of time in front of a computer can place a great deal of stress on your neck, back, and jaw, potentially exacerbating TMJ symptoms. Try to take frequent breaks, and use this time to stretch and move around. If your job entails prolonged computer usage, consider investing in ergonomic equipment such as a chair or keyboard, which can help to alleviate some of the strain.

Eat a Healthier Diet: Eating a well-balanced diet, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which is often exacerbated by TMJ. Try to eliminate or reduce your intake of highly processed and sugary foods, as these can exacerbate inflammation.

Get Plenty of Rest: Sleep is essential to the healing process, and getting plenty of rest can help to reduce the stress levels in the body. Make an effort to ensure that you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and consider taking a nap during the day if you’re feeling particularly fatigued.

Insights from Bend’s Top Dentist

Dr. Charlie Wilson, a leading dentist in Bend, offers the following message to those who are struggling with TMJ:

“In my experience, the most effective treatment for TMJ involves a combination of treatments. Lifestyle adjustments can play a crucial role in the management of TMJ. In addition to the lifestyle tips outlined above, I also advise people to seek out a qualified dentist, who can provide a number of different treatments, including mouth guards, physical therapy and, in some cases, even surgery. The most important thing is to find an approach that is customized to your individual needs and symptoms.”

In conclusion, TMJ can be a painful and disruptive condition. However, making some simple lifestyle adjustments, combined with the right treatment plan, can help to effectively manage the situation. Be sure to consult with a qualified dentist, such as Dr. Charlie Wilson, who can provide you with the proper guidance and treatment plan for your individual needs.