How to Reduce TMD Pain in Cold Weather
Submitted by Michael R. Cortese, D.M.D. on Fri 11/04/2016 - 09:00
The change of seasons in New Jersey can be difficult for individuals suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. Just as cold temperatures can make the arms and legs shiver and tingle, they can cause the jaw muscles to tense up, exacerbating TMJ pain. At times during the months of November through March, the weather can make it virtually impossible to manage jaw pain.
Here, the New Jersey TMJ specialist at Princeton Prosthodontics, Dr. Michael Cortese, shares tips to reduce the pain from TMJ disorder during the colder months of the year.
Wearing the right type of cold weather gear can help retain body heat and prevent muscles from tensing or clenching. If you’re planning to go outside — even for a few minutes — bundle up with a warm jacket, gloves and hat. Consider wearing a coat with a hood or collar to cover the jaw and protect it from rain, sleet or snow.
Regular exercise prevents the muscles — including the jaw muscles — from weakening or tightening. Exercise keeps the muscles and joints strong, loose and prepared for the dwindling temperatures. Try indoor activities such as yoga, Pilates, Zumba or swimming.
Crank Up the Room Temperature
Keep your body temperature stable by turning up your thermostat or fireplace. If you’re chilly at work, plug in a space heater or wrap yourself in a thick pashmina or scarf. Heating blankets are also helpful to keep your body at a comfortable and toasty temperature.
Hydrate and Eat Well
Stay hydrated by drinking water or warm tea. Avoid caffeinated beverages whenever possible, as the caffeine can lead to teeth grinding, which can exacerbate TMJ problems. Eat a nutritious diet and get plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, which are said to help with inflammation. You can find these nutrients in coldwater fish and nuts.
Contact Dr. Michael Cortese
If you have persistent pain in your jaw joint and would like to have it checked out by a doctor, please contact Princeton Prosthodontics today and request a consultation with Dr. Cortese. The doctor can identify the root of the problem and create a customized treatment solution for you. Call (609) 552-0800 or email us today.