Show ‘Em You Care! Helpful Tips For Friends and Family of TMD Patients


Valentine’s Day is over, but that doesn’t mean the loving has to stop. Do you know someone who suffers from TMJ disorder? Do you want to help them feel better, but are unsure of what to do?

Our guide can help you show them you care. Follow these seven suggestions to truly make a difference in the life of a TMD sufferer.

  • Become a good listener.  You don’t have to talk or try to fully participate in every conversation. Instead, sit quietly and lend an ear. Don’t feel pressured to make comments or interject. Just maintain eye contact and listen intently.
  • Educate yourself. Find out as much as you can about TMJ pain. Learn what it is, what causes it and available treatment options. Don’t be put off by medical terms that might seem complex or hard to pronounce. You don’t have to become an expert, but making an effort to understand the disorder will make a big difference in the life of a TMD sufferer.
  • Understand the anger. When people are not feeling well, they often use bad judgment. They may lose their temper over something trivial or overreact to unimportant information. Recognize what the bigger problem is and ask what you can do to help. Odds are, TMD sufferers are not mad at you, they are simply frustrated with the symptoms of their condition.  Let them know that you understand the root of the problem and that you want to help.
  • Stay positive and be encouraging.  TMD sufferers can experience unpredictable and extreme pain. But if you keep smiling and offering encouragement, it will go a long way in showing that you really care.
  • Do you have free time? Offer to accompany someone to their TMD doctor’s visit. Sitting in waiting rooms is often stressful and tedious. Your presence and conversation will likely provide a welcome distraction. If you don’t have time to sit through a doctor’s appointment, offer to drive instead. Then go run some errands and be available to drive back home.
  • Experiment together. TMD sufferers may be limited in what they can eat. So go with the flow and suggest new things. Go out to dinner and order something brand new off the menu. Offer to cook a dish that TMD sufferers can enjoy. You can broaden your culinary horizons as you embark on an adventurous food journey.
  • Do you have other suggestions that have made a difference in the life of a family member or friend? Join the conversation and share your successful ideas on Facebook. Together, we can continue to make meaningful change in the lives of people we love.

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