While the holidays are certainly a happy and joyous time during the year, for many people, they can also be extremely stressful. Preparing large meals, hosting out of town guests, and the endless wrapping of gifts can all become extremely overwhelming.
While it is important to keep your stress in-check regardless of your oral health status, when you have TMJ pain, it is especially important to take steps to protect your mouth during the holiday season.
Delegate Tasks To keep your stress lowered during the holidays and to minimize TMJ pain, be sure to delegate some of your responsibilities to other people. Keeping your stress level low by asking for help will reduce the chance that you will clench or grind your teeth, causing tooth damage and pain that can radiate from your jaw and into your head.
Travel Wisely If you will be traveling for the holidays, take some time ahead of your trip to pack anything you might need to keep your TMJ pain in-check while you're gone. This will include your night guard, if you wear one, and you should also consider bringing a neck pillow in order to ensure that your neck stays comfortable if you are on a long plane or car ride.
Shop Online Many people find it stressful to fight through a crowded store full of holiday shoppers. Do yourself a favor and start shopping online, as this stress reduction can be beneficial in keeping your TMJ pain at bay.
Avoid Certain Holiday Treats
In addition to stress, eating foods that are extremely chewy, hard, or sticky can also aggravate your TMJ pain. These foods are difficult to chew and can put added stress onto the joint. Additionally, if you have orthodontic work or other restorations in place, you could cause tooth damage, so it is best to pass on these treats.
Have you talked to your dentist about your TMJ pain? If not, call us today to set up an appointment.