Superior Nibbles – March 2018 Issue

4 Natural Ways to Tackle TMJ

Notice your jaw clicking when you chew? Does your jaw get stuck open or closed? Do your ears ache?

If yes, you may be experiencing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), a condition caused by teeth grinding, gum chewing, teeth clenching and stress. It’s associated with a number of symptoms like headaches, toothaches, earaches and sleep issues.

Natural ways to manage TMJ include:

Try essential oils. A combination of peppermint, frankincense and lavender oils may address pain, inflammation and tension.

Subtract stress. Exercising, stretching and massage may diminish stress and enhance relaxation.

Reduce inflammation in your diet. To decrease the inflammation around the jaw joints, avoid sugars, refined grains, caffeine and alcohol.

Stretch your jaw. Ask us for gentle stretches that may provide relief.

How to Stop Nail-Nibbling

Nail-biting—it’s a nervous practice that’s highly common—and highly detrimental to one’s teeth. Often, nail-biting begins in childhood and hangs around as a hard-to-kick habit. And it’s one you may not even realise you’re doing.

Over time, nail-biting may cause teeth to chip, crack or deteriorate. Nail-biting also may increase one’s risk for bruxism, or teeth grinding.

Here are some steps you can take to quit nail-biting:

  • Keep your nails trimmed short—shorter nails will be harder to bite
  • Give your hands something to do—knitting anyone?
  • Keep your mouth occupied—drink water, snack healthily or suck on sugarless mints
  • Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting polish—one bad-tasting nibble may deter you for good
  • Treat your nails to a manicure—you may be less inclined to bite on nails that look great

Keeping your teeth looking healthy with regular check-ups also may help you quit!

Keep Your Gums in the Pink

While keeping your pearly whites clean can help you maintain optimal oral health, don’t forget about your gums. Your gums provide a protective covering over the bones of your teeth, preventing bacteria from causing harm. Healthy gums should appear pink, not red.

If you notice redness, inflammation, swelling or bleeding you may have early signs of gingivitis. If ignored, it can advance to periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gums. This condition can damage the gums and bones around your teeth.

Check out these easy steps you can take to keep your gums healthy:

  • Floss at least once a day
  • Brush twice daily
  • Get checkups twice a year
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid sugary foods

Are you overdue for your next visit? Call for an appointment.

Superior Smiles | Fremantle Dentist Perth