The Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle in Managing TMJ Disorder
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are somewhat common but regularly go untreated. When left untreated, they can lead to chronic pain, frequent migraines, and more. Making a visit to our providers at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders is highly recommended for anyone who is exhibiting symptoms or is at risk of a TMJ disorder. For more information contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau
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TMJ disorders can be associated with both medical conditions (such as arthritis) and bad habits or lifestyle choices, with the lifestyle choices and bad habits often just causing symptoms to worsen without the patient’s even being aware of what they’re doing. Common lifestyle factors that contribute to worsened TMJ symptoms include maintaining a poor diet, not getting enough or good quality sleep, suffering from long-term stress, or maintaining poor posture that causes increased strain and pressure in the neck and face. It is also fairly common for patients with TMJ to experience symptoms in the first place or worsen symptoms due to them clenching or grinding their teeth, both during the day or while they sleep, often subconsciously. Treating these lifestyle choices and addressing any habits that may be causing or worsening symptoms is one of the most common means of effectively treating TMJ disorders.
Deficiencies of vitamin D are one of the most correlated deficiencies with TMJ disorders as it is the nutrient that is essential for maintaining bone and joint health. Studies have shown that a vitamin D deficiency can cause a predisposition or increase the risk of developing TMJ disorders and is commonly linked to widespread musculoskeletal pain that is chronic. Research in this area is still growing, but it is becoming more popular to include the supplementation of vitamin D as part of symptom management for bone and joint pain, including TMJ disorders. Of course, there are several different types of TMJ disorders that come with their own individual causes, so this finding may not prove to be that beneficial to patients whose TMJ disorder has a completely different cause such as trauma to the joint. There are also several other types of vitamins and various nutrients that have shown to provide benefits for those who have a diagnosed TMJ disorder as all bone and joint disorders may benefit from the supplementation of any nutrients that the body is lacking, including vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins.
There are several different treatments available that are effective in reducing the severity of symptoms caused by TMJ disorders and improving the overall health of the temporomandibular joint, most of which will consist of maintaining healthier lifestyle choices and habits to prevent pain or chronic conditions from developing in the first place. This means maintaining a healthy, balanced diet that provides all essential vitamins and minerals to your body, as well as trying your best to manage stress levels day-today. If you have a tendency to clench or grind your teeth, particularly while sleeping, it will be very beneficial to visit a provider who will provide you with a mouth guard that will prevent unconscious clenching and grinding of the teeth while you are sleeping, which will in turn reduce the symptoms that will be experienced during the day. Strengthening and regularly stretching the joint will also help to improve your TMJ health, which is where visiting a doctor will come in handy as they will be able to provide you with specific exercises and stretches that you can do at home in order to prevent flare-ups and to decrease pain in the long-run.
Learning how to effectively manage stress levels will drastically help prevent symptoms or flare-ups associated with your TMJ disorder. Some stress management activities include exercising regularly, socializing with close friends, receiving massages, or trying out activities such as yoga, aromatherapy, or having warm baths will be effective for many people to cope with stress. Flare-ups or other problems associated with your TMJ disorder can also be further prevented by strengthening the joint with specific mouth and jaw exercises followed by recommended stretches. TMJ symptoms can also be prevented by wearing a mouth guard while sleeping to prevent any clenching or grinding of the teeth while you sleep. Visiting a doctor for your TMJ disorder will provide you with all necessary and recommended information to help treat the disorder as well as prevent further problems related to the disorder from occurring.