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Honor Families Who Bravely Battle TMD

If you haven't done so already, please join me in making a year-end contribution to The TMJ Association (TMJA) in the honor of families like mine and yours who bravely battle this disease each and every day. Since my daughter, Alexandra, b

From Functional Pains to Central Sensitivity Syndromes

The following article in Medscape refers to TMD and some of its overlapping pain conditions as functional pains and proposes to change that description. Medscape is the leading online resource for physicians and healthcare professionals worldwide, offeri

Are TMD Patients More Pain Sensitive? Maybe. But It's Complicated

TMD patients come in many different varieties. Some experience pain and dysfunction confined only to the jaw and/or the associated chewing muscles. Other TMD patients have jaw pain plus one or more other painful conditions elsewhere in the body. Scientis

TMJA's 8th Scientific Meeting

TMJA celebrated its 8th biennial scientific meeting this fall provocatively challenging scientists to answer, "How Can Precision Medicine Be Applied to Temporomandibular Disorders and its Comorbidities?" For three days scientists from fields

Introducing our TMD Nutrition Guide

The pain and jaw dysfunction associated with Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) can impact your ability to chew and swallow food. How and what you are able to eat can seriously compromise your nutritional and health status - an aspect of TMD that is often

Daniel's Self Help Tips

  • Nov 2, 2016

Hello,  my name is Daniel.  I have had a TMJ issue for the past three years.  I have been diagnosed and treated by over seven different doctors ranging from family doctors, multiple dentists to oral facial pain specialists and surgeons. I have had CAT Scans and an MRI.  My TMJ diagnosis has been confirmed with no results for a cure.  I have not had any surgeries.  I have read many books and articles regarding TMJ.  Now the good news. I still have TMJ with the limited opening but have taken my pain levels from 90% all the time to almost 1% very occassionally.  I have done most of this on my own by doing a few simple things.  Facial and head pain with TMJ can be unbearable at times.  I hope the following advice can help you.

  •  Don’t force the jaw opening

I have managed the pain by not trying to force the opening further than what I can do.  Forcing the opening past it's current limit is where all the pain starts.  I also noticed that if I yawn or hear my jaw pop from opening too far within an hour that is when there is the most facial and head pain from the popping of the bones together. 

If I do not force the opening and yawn easily without popping the jaw, I have limited my pain the past two years to where I do not need any pain medication or any type of pain reliever.  I even wore a nightly mouthguard for the first two years and have not needed it for almost a year now. 

  • No clenching

Also, no clenching during the day and don't lean your chin on your hand.  Keep your mouth open and relaxed.  At nighttime here a few things to limit clenching during sleep.  Exercise in the morning or afternoon.  Not right before bed.  Do not consume any caffeine or sugar or alcohol or tobacco 3-4 hours prior to going to sleep.  Try a type of tea that can help relax you to get better rest.  The more relaxed you are at bedtime the less likely you will clench during sleep which can cause most of the pain in the morning.

  •  Good body posture

Also keep good posture as this will tie in with keeping your whole body relaxed along with the jaw. 

  •  Avoid hard and chewy foods

Don't bite into hard things like apples. Limit chewing gum and taffy type of candy that causes constant or hard chewing. As for the limited opening, still eat everything you like.  Just cut it up into smaller pieces.  Even a large sandwich can be eaten by using a fork with the meat and then take a bite of bread.  Not a big deal and you do adapt. 

I still live a normal life with a great family and good job.  Wishing everyone less pain and a better life.  I hope this helps you as it has me. 

Best wishes, 

Daniel

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