The days of more food, family, and fun is once again upon us. For us here in central Ohio, the days are getting shorter. And for those of us who experience temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, the holidays can bring additional stress which can aggravate symptoms of TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction).

Much of the holiday season revolves around food. They are often front and center of winter get-togethers. Dr. Bez, our Westerville TMJ expert, suggests that you try to stay away from the crunchy foods. Raw veggies, nuts, and candy canes may aggravate the jaw. Keep those at a minimum, instead, stick to goodies you know won’t surprise you or make your jaw work harder than usual. It’s better to stay comfortable than indulge in hard candy.

Dr. Bez also suggests playing a little more attention to your schedule this time of year. Stress impacts everyone differently. For those with TMJD, it often results in clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth, many times sufferers aren’t even aware they are doing this. Exercise is an essential component in managing stress, and while this holiday season leaves us short on time, it is vital to make exercise a priority.

Sleep can be another challenge for many of us this time of year. Some us keep later hours than typical trying to fit it all in, while others lay awake finding it hard to fall asleep with visions of “to-do’s” dance in their heads. Try your best to keep to your normal sleep routines, and make rest a priority; you will be thankful you did. TMJD can be managed with thoughtful care–just what you can expect from central Ohio’s leading TMJ expert. You take care of you, and we’ll be here to help. Happy holidays from all of us at Central Ohio TMJD and Dental Sleep Therapy Center.