When you think about the holidays, hopefully your thoughts tend to bring up images of beautiful twinkling lights, cozy décor, gifts, and all things merry and bright! However, if visions of sore jaws and sensitive teeth flicker through your mind, as well, recognize that this time of year can negatively affect bruxism and TMJ disorder. As a result, we have some serious suggestions for you to help you make it well into the New Year in comfort. The primary recommendation, of course? Take a break!
We suggest that you take a break in any form you can muster up during the holidays because this is one high-energy, stressful time. If you stress or feel anxious, this is not a sign that you are not enjoying yourself. It’s simply a natural reaction to having what feels like an endless amount of tasks to check off of your list, including social engagements, spending extra money, and more. This often causes sufferers of bruxism and TMJ disorder to tighten up their muscles. The result? Aggravated jaw joints and uncomfortable teeth. To combat this issue, do what you can to alleviate stress, whether you take a walk, schedule things carefully, or even make time for naps.
About Your Teeth and Jaw Use
Patients often fail to realize how frequently they use their smiles. First, there are aspects of your day that become impossible to avoid – such as chewing and speaking. Don’t worry about these – you will only end up stressing (and you know how that will turn out!). What we suggest looking out for to avoid further problems with bruxism and TMJ disorder is the unnecessary use of your teeth and jaws. Cut these out of your usual habits for protection:
- Don’t attempt to rip packaging with your teeth
- Don’t open bottles or cans with your teeth
- Avoid foods that require excessive or forceful chewing
- Don’t forget to keep up with any current bruxism or TMD treatments