Approximately 15% of Americans suffer from chronic facial pain–typically because of your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Your TMJs are responsible for chewing and speaking, which means it is important that you don’t experience pain.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), then you are no stranger to jaw and facial pain. But what is causing your discomfort? For many people, stress might be the culprit–it affects approximately 77% of people reporting pain with stress. To help you combat stress and (hopefully) eliminate pain, here are some ways to relieve stress:

1. Get a Good Night’s Rest

I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but sleep is extremely important. ou should be getting at least eight hours of sleep a night in order to feel fully rested the next day. Having trouble sleeping? Make sure that electronic devices, caffeine or afternoon naps aren’t to blame. Keep your room at a comfortable temperature and leave distractions out of the bedroom for a restful sleep.

2. Eat Right

Stress and your diet are closely linked because we might not eat healthy when we have an impending deadline or a long workday–we might even forget to eat altogether. Sometimes running to the vending machine or fast food joint next door is easier than having to pack something healthy.

Take charge of your health and start preparing for the week on Sunday. Be sure to stock up on fruits, vegetables and foods rich in omega-3s, which have been shown to reduce stress. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the sudden energy zap that often accompanies chowing down on a candy bar.

3. Exercise Regularly

You’re stress enough as it is, but now you have to find time to exercise? You’ve got to be kidding me! Don’t think there is not enough time in the day, because there is. Exercise doesn’t have to mean pumping iron at the gym–it means anything that can get your blood flowing to trigger endorphins.

Take a quick walk around the office or around the block on your lunch break. Just a little bit of movement during your day can significantly improve your stress and brighten your mood.

What do you do to combat stress? By finding ways to deal with your stress, it can often help you find relief from your pain. To learn more about TMD and how stress might be related, contact us at Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Georgia.