For people with a TMJ disorder, the thought of opening wide to brush or floss is not pleasant. Pain from the a TMJ disorder makes these everyday tasks very challenging.
While nothing can really be done about changing out the size of floss, choosing the right toothbrush, however, may make a difference in your symptoms.
Stick to a Smaller Size
A smaller-sized toothbrush will have less of a taxing impact on your jaw muscles. Look for brushes with compacts heads (which are smaller than full-sized brushes) — or reach for a children’s toothbrush. Both can help you reach those back teeth a little easier.
Also, be sure to use “soft” or “extra soft” bristles. Check the package for details. Medium bristles have a tendency to be hard on tooth enamel and may cause tooth sensitivity.
Try Power Toothbrushes
Many electric toothbrushes have small, compact heads that can not only reach the back of your mouth more easily but can help you remove more plaque and tartar when brushing is difficult.
Electric brushes do a very thorough job of cleaning with less time, and therefore less opening of the jaw. The oscillating and/or rotating action of the brush can reach the back teeth easily. Look for one that has a small head and that has pressure control and/or a gentle setting so it doesn’t brush too aggressively.
Dental Hygiene is Your Best Defense
If your TMJ is really irritated, you can take brushing breaks if needed. Brush for a few seconds, focusing on a few teeth, and remove the brush and relax your jaw. Repeat as needed until the job is done.
Although TMD can make proper dental hygiene challenging at times, it’s still important to brush and floss daily to keep your teeth healthy. This routine really is your best defense against oral health problems. You may want to consider using an antiseptic mouthwash as an “insurance policy” to remove any lingering bacteria from your teeth. Finally, see your dentist for a cleaning every six months.
Is your TMJ pain interfering with your dental hygiene and your life? Contact Pasadena Pain Management to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.