How To Care For Yourself After TMJ Treatment
We have initiated treatment of your temporomandibular joint/muscle dysfunction. Our success will depend in large part upon the way you treat these injured areas. The following instructions will greatly enhance the correction and healing of this area;
- For the next few months, be sure to cut all foods into small, bite-size pieces and try to avoid opening your mouth any wider than the thickness of your thumb.
- Do not eat hard crusts of bread, ice, tough meat, raw vegetables, hard candy, or any other food that will require prolonged chewing.
- Avoid chewing gum during this period.
- Be sure not to protrude your jaw, as you must do when biting off a piece of thread.
- Do not bite any food with your front teeth.
- If you wear lipstick, do not bring your jaw forward when applying it.
- Avoid protruding your jaw during any other activities: for example, smoking, conversation, etc.
- Make every effort not to strain your joint ligaments unnecessarily. Avoid opening your mouth wide when eating, yawning, etc.
- Should you find yourself clenching your teeth together, try to remember to keep your lips together and your teeth apart.
- Apply moist heat to affected joint at least twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes.
These few simple rules can easily allow you to modify your diet and to avoid such jaw movements that might re-injure your joints, muscles, or ligaments.