Suppose you are just about to devour on a hamburger, but as you open your mouth wide to take a bite, you experience excruciating pain on one or both sides of your face. The first thing that may cross your mind is you have tooth pain or a misaligned jaw, but it has not occurred to you that you could have a TMJ disorder. Your first Bellevue TMJ point of contact for accurate diagnosis and treatment is EZ Dental Clinic.
How to care for your TMJ after treatment
After your treatment, you may be wondering how to ensure the TMJ disorder does not reoccur, but you do not know how to go about it. Here are some self-care tips to help you recover faster.
- Conduct regular massage to your TMJ
TMJ disorder can make you feel pain even after treatment. The last thing you need is to spend the rest of your life knowing you might risk developing it due to negligence. Self-massage might sound devastating, but it is one way of relieving your pain. Use your fingers to massage areas experiencing more pain. If the pain does not subside, see your dentist for further review.
- Put on your mouthguard
After your treatment, your dentist will customize a mouth guard based on your jaw size and shape. Mouthguards are designed to reduce your chances of grinding your teeth together, aggravating your TMJ disorder. They are also meant to realign your jaw to prevent teeth from grinding. Please ensure you wear it at all times to avoid your pain.
- Avoid hard or crunchy foods
Your jaws work harder when you bite on hard and crunchy foods. After your TMJ treatment, avoid eating such foods. Instead, you can go for soft foods and liquids until you fully recover.
- Go easy on your jaw functions
If you are fond of supporting your fist using your chin when engaging in a conversation or focusing on your computer, the time to avoid subjecting your jaw to these harsh jaw movements is after your treatment. Other habits such as chewing gum or yelling can reduce your chances of recovering from TMJ. Avoid causing unnecessary jaw movements if you want to feel better much sooner.
- Relieve your pain using medications
Over-the-counter medications can help reduce your pain, but only when you adhere to your dentist’s instructions. Under no circumstance should you increase your dosage or try alternative medications without your doctor’s approval. Most dentists recommend pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Do your due diligence to determine if you are allergic to such medications.
- Administer ice packs on your jaw
Ice packs have pain-relieving properties, which make them perfect for TMJ post-treatment. Place them on one side of your face for about 10 minutes. Repeat this on the other side of your face until you get some relief.
TMJ disorder can affect your mouth functions when left untreated. After treatment, the buck stops with you. These self-care tips should speed up your recovery process to enjoy your quality of life as soon as possible. To learn more about TMJ treatment options, schedule a consultation with your dentist today.