Avoid Jaw Pain for the Holidays

The holidays: some people love them, and others can’t wait to see them gone. But however you feel about this time of year, it’s important to keep your TMJ in good working order to avoid a painful flare-up of TMD symptoms. Nothing can put a damper on holiday activities quite like a sore jaw, headache, lack of sleep, or even locking or dislocation of the jaw. Make the most of this Thanksgiving holiday by becoming aware of possible TMD triggers – and avoiding them at all costs!

TMD Holiday Trigger: Traveling

Let’s face it: traveling is filled with all sorts of stress. Being crammed into an airplane or car seat all day, dealing with traffic and weather conditions, and just being without the comforts of home can all add up to stress on the TMJ.

But, you can travel without TMD problems if you:

  • Plan in advance. If you’re dealing with airports or a long drive, give yourself ample time to get to your destination or through security checks. This can help you reduce stress, which will help reduce TMD symptoms and teeth grinding.

  • Take your TMD gear with you. Do you need a heating pad, ibuprofen, essential oils, or a special pillow to keep yourself comfortable and free of TMD problems? Don’t leave home without these items, even if they do take up a little extra space. If you have a TMD flare up, you’ll be glad you have them.

  • Avoid vending machines when traveling. Though it may be tempting to grab a bag of chips or candy when you’re on the road, resist the temptation to munch on these unhealthy items. They’ll sap your energy, stress your jaw, and probably leave you feeling hungry again (and exhausted) an hour later. Instead, pack your own healthy snacks such as smoothies and fresh fruit.

  • Follow your TMJ-friendly diet wherever you go. Many people like to “forget” about their TMJ diet when they’re out of town celebrating, but this can simply lead to more pain and problems during your trip or after you return home. If you’re not sure what you should or shouldn’t eat this Thanksgiving, read on to find out.

TMD Trigger: Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner can be delightful and delicious if you know what to choose for your TMJ. Don’t eat anything that’s crunchy or chewy, even at Thanksgiving. This includes crusty breads, raw fruits and veggies, and dried fruits.

Fortunately, there are plenty of jaw-friendly options that fit well into Thanksgiving tradition. Ask your host or hostess in advance what they plan to serve, or cook the meal yourself! Some great options that your jaw will love include:

  • Turkey (dark meat is more tender)

  • Baked apples

  • Cornbread

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Steamed or sauteed vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, and peas

  • Cranberries

  • Pumpkin pie

Before you celebrate your holidays, contact MedCenter TMJ. We can get your started on a treatment plan that will help you reduce stress and keep TMJ symptoms under control. It’s the perfect time of year to start feeling your best!

Original Source: https://www.medcentertmj.com/healthy-living/avoid-jaw-pain-holidays/

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