Blog – Dealing with Stress During The Pandemic
We’ve heard from you that the stress of the pandemic continues to be a concern. This can manifest itself as pain in your jaw, affecting you oral health. Here are some ways you can address this:
Particularly if pain is strong, stay on a soft diet; soups, milk shakes, eggs, pasta.
When the symptoms start to improve you can start to eat more substantial foods. We suggest that you cut your food into small bite size pieces and not open your mouth wider than the thickness of your thumb.
Stay away from hard crusts of bread, tough meat, raw vegetables, gum or other chewy food.
Avoiding large amounts of caffeine may help reduce your jaw pain over time, but you may initially feel muscle tension from caffeine withdrawal when cutting it out of your diet.
Advil / Motrin (Ibuprofen)
The idea is to reduce inflammation, so initially take two 200 mg tablets every four hours.
If you cannot take Advil, Tylenol is just fine, four times a day for pain relief.
Moist Heat and Ice
Moist heat applied to the painful areas provides excellent relief & gets blood flowing to the affected area. Hot water on a wash cloth/towel works great.
After application of moist heat, treat the area with an ice pack for 1-2 minutes to help reduce inflammation. Be sure to cover the ice pack with a cloth so you don’t burn your skin.
Applying moist heat and then the ice can be done up to twenty minutes each time, when needed. Give yourself a break in between doing this full process. Try to treat the affected side 3 to 5 times per day.
Relax your jaw
Try to make a conscious effort to separate the teeth when your lips are closed. It’s important to break the habit of clenching and grinding your teeth by learning to keep your teeth apart when your lips are together. Doing this will relax the muscles that have become tense and permit a more normal positioning of your jaw joints.
Massage the affected area with your fingers. Press on the sore areas of your jaw, such as the area right before your ear where your jaw joints meet. Rub in a circular motion 5 to 10 times, then open your mouth and repeat the exercise. Massaging the muscles on the side of your neck may also help relieve tension.
Try to reduce the stress in your life; yoga, journaling, drawing, meditation.
If you have one, it’s a good idea to wear it in the evenings to help support the muscles and joints.