Pregnancy can change a woman’s body in several unimaginable ways. That’s why it’s not surprising that many pregnant ladies seek ways to relieve TMJ in Escondido. Are you among them? Do you know a fellow expecting mom who has TMJ pain? This guide might be of help to you! Find out why TMJ disorders affect pregnant mommies and what steps you can undertake to manage and ease the pain and discomfort.
TMJ Disorders and Pregnancy: What’s the Connection?
It’s unclear why expecting moms experience TMJ problems. However, studies enumerate several possible triggers, including the following:
Edema on the face
Facial swelling is common among pregnant women. Unfortunately, besides affecting one’s self-esteem, facial edema can also increase pressure on an already irritated TMJ.
Increased estrogen levels
A 2018 study explains that estrogen levels increase dramatically during pregnancy. This increases joint laxity (looseness) and inflammation around the TMJ area.
Teeth grinding at night
Bruxism or teeth grinding is fairly common in expecting moms due to stress and anxiety. Sadly, this puts immense pressure on the jaws, causing increased TMJ pain and discomfort.
Lack of calcium
Osteoporosis has significant adverse effects on the TMJ. Notably, many women who have given birth risk developing osteoporosis or bone loss. While some develop osteoporosis later in life, studies note that some women have transient osteoporosis during pregnancy. This commonly happens during pregnancy and the first two weeks after childbirth.
Poor sleeping posture
Many pregnant women have trouble finding a suitable sleeping position, especially when their tummy begins to bulge. As a result, some have to make sleeping posture compromises that eventually hurt their TMJ.
Roughly 70 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness; sadly, most are at high risk for TMJ disorders. The sheer force involved in regurgitating food, especially during the first few months of pregnancy, puts pressure on the jaws, neck, and shoulders.
How Can Expecting Mommies Alleviate Their Jaw Pain?
TMJ pain is often classified as an orthopedic problem, primarily because it impacts jaw joints and bones. As a result, the approach to resolving or alleviating jaw pain is similar to managing orthopedic issues like a painful knee. For starters, doctors recommend limiting or avoiding activities that negatively impact the TMJ and jaws. These include chewing hard food, phone cradling, and biting on pens or straws. Additionally, doctors seeking helpful ways to relieve TMJ in Escondido, such as the following:
Applying cold compress
Cold compresses or ice packs are handy in soothing inflammation on the face and jaws. So, we suggest applying one for at least 10 to 15 minutes. If you don’t have an ice pack at home, you can grab a bag of frozen peas and wrap it in a small face towel. Use as needed and avoid putting it on the skin for too long to prevent irritation.
Perform simple jaw exercises
Simple and active jaw stretching exercises might come in handy in reducing the pain and discomfort you experience on your TMJ. We recommend including this in your daily self-care routine. Additionally, we suggest adjusting the intensity and frequency of the exercises depending on how well your TMJ responds.
As your OB-Gyne for the best painkiller to use
Many expecting moms aren’t too keen on taking painkillers. If you are among them, we recommend consulting with your OB-Gyne to find a suitable option. This way, you can take a safe type of medication that temporarily alleviates your pain and allow you to perform essential functions involving the jaws, like talking and eating.
Ease the pain with the help of a soft food diet
The last thing you want is to cause further damage and irritation to your TMJ. So, you might find it helpful to eat a soft diet consisting of nutrition-pack food like mashed veggies, oats, flaxseed, poached eggs, cottage cheese, and cooked beans. We recommend carefully planning your meal plan to find products that would not irritate your TMJ but still provide ample nutrients and minerals for you and your growing child.
Work on your posture
Because posture plays a crucial role in preventing your TMJ disorder from getting worse, you should, at all costs, find ways to improve your posture or address issues like neck bone misalignments. Here are some helpful things you can try:
- Avoid slumping while seated
- Use pillows to support your back when sleeping on your side
- Make sure to schedule regular walking exercises
- Avoid standing for a prolonged period, especially when you are in the second or third trimester of your pregnancy
- When standing, place your feet slightly apart from each other and avoid locking your knees in place
- Avoid crossing your legs while seated to prevent circulation problems
- Seek a chiropractor to relieve TMJ in Escondido
Relieve TMJ in Escondido With The Help Of An Upper Cervical Chiropractor
While pregnancy is an exciting chapter of life for many women, it can pose several risks, such as TMJ pain. Thankfully, you can manage your risks or TMJ pain in many ways. One example is keeping up with your upper cervical chiropractic appointments. Making sure that your neck bones stay in proper alignment will come in handy in preventing or avoiding TMJ pain that results from your pregnancy.
Additionally, the neck bone adjustments provided by an upper cervical doctor can remove interferences between the brain and painful body parts like the TMJ. This helps improve tissue healing and provides significant relief.
We encourage you to get in touch with Dr. Ray Rickards to learn more about the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic adjustments, especially for people looking for effective ways to relieve TMJ in Escondido. Contact us at (760) 745-1511 or submit your queries through our online form.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rickards, call our Escondido office at (760) 745-1511. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.