How to relax the masticatory muscles and TMJ to help the recovery and regeneration of tissues.
A soft diet reduces the pressure put on the joint and muscles, allowing a quicker recovery.
Do not chew gum, nuts, hard sweets etc that can irritate the joint and cause muscle fatigue.
Reduce bruxism, avoiding closure and forced contact of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws. It wears the teeth down and compresses the joint (control consciously teeth clenching).
Relax the mouth and face muscles, trying not to permanently contract the lips, chin or cheek, as this activity overloads the muscles and compresses the joint (control consciously muscle contractions.
Control large and continuous yawning as this will protect the ligaments and prevent a possible dislocation of the jaw that would impede closing the mouth.
Limit excessive opening of the mouth during chewing, avoiding big bites of apples, peaches, pears or thick sandwiches. They should be cut into small pieces and placed in the mouth.
Always adopt a good body posture
Control incorrect postural habits:
- As you sit, the back should be flat and completely supported by the back of the chair. Avoid forward positions of the head.
- Try to walk upright with your chin tucked to your chest.
- Do not hold the phone with the chin, and limit the use of instruments that force cranial-cervical posture.
- Sleep on your back or side with a pillow that supports the neck and shoulders well, avoid sleeping on your front.
- Go to the gym, at least 3 times a week. Try to be in good physical shape.
- Do not bite your nails, lips, cheeks, or items such as pens or pencils.
- Avoid bad tongue habits (biting it, putting it between the lips, etc.)
Control or avoid stress
Limit the intake of stimulants such as coffee, tea, colas and chocolate.
Reduce the consumption of tobacco.
Try to sleep 6-8 hours a day, with a regular sleeping time and with appropriate environmental conditions (avoid electrical appliances or lights on the bedside table, have a warm temperature of 20-22c).
Avoid stressful situations, and in cases where it is impossible to avoid, try to minimize as best you can.
Try to be happy in your free time, pursuing your hobbies or trying to help others (NGO’s).
Local application of moist heat for 15-30 minutes, promotes muscle relaxation.
A warm bath before bedtime helps to relax muscles throughout the body and facilitates sleep.
If the pain is not relieved with moist heat, you can alternate with ice (1 minute of heat, 1 minute of ice, 6 times each, rest for half an hour and repeat if necessary).
Place the splint as demonstrated to you in the clinic. Normally it is used during the night, whilst you are sleeping, but on occasions, it should be worn for as many hours as possible. The splint relaxes the muscles and decompresses the joint tissues.
Massages on the face and neck muscles are beneficial and relax the muscles.
Electrotherapy (current, laser, ultrasound) relaxes the soft tissues of the joint, favouring correct mandibular dynamics.