The joint of the jaw is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and it is responsible for the opening and closing of the mouth. It works as a slide or hinge that allows the mouth’s movements. Without this joint, basic human activities such as talking would be impossible.
You would not wish to experience a TMJ disorder as it can be debilitating and potentially impact your quality of life. Disorders related to the jaw joint can hinder your chewing, yawning, and even speaking. In short, ensuring that your TMJ is at peak condition is essential for everyday functions.
In this blog post, let us explain the critical aspects of TMJ disorders and how sticking to soft foods and doing TMJ exercises are beneficial to those with TMJ pain.
What causes TMJ Disorders?
TMJD or TMD are the terms used to refer to any pain or disorders in the TMJ area of the jaw. TMJ disorders may arise from the following reasons:
- Muscle tension or discomfort in the jaw
- Misalignment of the jaw
- Possible neck or upper cervical issues
- Muscular degeneration and inflammation in the jaw area
What are the symptoms of TMJ Disorders?
TMJ issues can lead to other issues in the nearby regions of the body, including the inner ear and neck. Aside from pain and tenderness in the muscles surrounding the jaw, there are other associated symptoms to this condition. Here are some of these symptoms:
- Neck pains
- Ear pains
- Facial pains
- Teeth grinding
- Popping in the joints of the jaw
If you persistently deal with any of these listed symptoms, you may have a TMJ disorder. Aside from these symptoms, some people with TMJ disorders may also suffer from other underlying conditions, including sleeping issues, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
These symptoms may come and go, which makes finding the appropriate treatment for a TMJD case difficult. However, sticking to soft foods can significantly benefit your recovery from a TMJ disorder.
Why should I stick to soft foods if I have a TMJ Disorder?
When a part of the body is in pain, we do our best to minimize contact and pressure on the affected body part. The same is true for any TMJ disorders. Eating soft foods for jaw pains and other TMJ issues is advisable for recovery. Only consuming soft foods can minimize the strain on the muscles of your jaw. Hence, this can make recovering faster and easier.
Some foods that can help your TMJ heal are the following:
- ice cream
- mashed or boiled potatoes
- mashed sweet potatoes
You should also try doing some TMJ exercises and stretches for jaw pain management.
What else can I do to get rid of my TMJ pain?
Minor TMJ disorders can usually heal on their own, but what happens if the symptoms persist? What should you do to alleviate the symptoms connected to disorders in the TMJ area?
Here are some of the tips you can try to prevent or stay clear of TMJ disorder symptoms:
- Avoid foods that require too much chewing (for example, nuts, some meats, and gum)
- Relax your jaw muscles with some TMJ exercises
- Try to eliminate stress from your system through relaxing activities
- Do not open your mouth too wide as it can strain your jaw
- Try not to clench your jaw
- Pay a visit to health professionals that specializes in the neck, jaw, and mouth areas
If you have chronic jaw pain, here are some of the devices some doctors and dentist recommend to treat TMJD:
- Jaw splints or bite guards
- Pain medications
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Botox injections
If you want a natural way to eliminate TMJ disorders, you are in luck. Chiropractic care might be the one you need for long-lasting relief.
Unique, Natural Reliever for TMJ Disorder
As mentioned before, neck pain may also be a symptom of TMJ disorders. Hence, it’s not a far-fetched idea that TMJ disorder has a connection to a misalignment in the upper cervical spine or the neck. This means that corrections of the misalignment in the neck area can possibly get rid of the symptoms connected to TMJ disorders.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is a chiropractic niche that focuses on the uppermost area of the spine. The two vertebrae found in this area, the atlas (C1) and axis (C2), – are the most susceptible to injury and misalignment due to their location. Upper cervical chiropractic care caters to different issues involving these parts of the spine.
Through careful, gentle, and precise adjustments in the neck part of the spine, upper cervical chiropractic care practitioners can help remove TMJ pains for good. Once the adjustment is completed, mobility can be restored in the upper cervical spine and jaw area.
Experience firsthand what chiropractic care can do for your TMJ disorder. You can also ask chiropractors about practical TMJ exercises that can work well for you. Consult with an upper cervical chiropractor near you and experience what true TMJ relief is.