Pain from a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can make daily tasks a challenge. Even brushing and flossing teeth can be difficult if it hurts to open your mouth wide. Reaching the back teeth with a toothbrush may not be an easy feat either.
With TMD, sometimes choosing the right toothbrush can make a difference in your symptoms and make dental hygiene easier.
Reach For a Smaller Size
If brushing your teeth is taxing your jaw muscles, try a smaller toothbrush. Many adult brushes come with compact heads that are smaller than full-sized brushes. If that’s still too large, there’s nothing wrong with trying a children’s toothbrush. The size of a smaller brush may be just what you need to reach those back teeth with ease.
Whichever brush you choose, look for “soft” or “extra soft” bristles listed on the package.
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.
Relax and Take Breaks When Needed
Getting your back teeth clean doesn’t mean you have to strain your jaw and open it as wide as possible. In fact, you’ll probably have an easier time reaching all the areas of the teeth if you keep your mouth relaxed while brushing. This will also reduce strain on your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
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.
Dental Hygiene is Important (No Matter What!)
Although TMD can make proper dental hygiene challenging at times, it’s still important to brush and floss daily to keep your teeth healthy. If flossing is difficult, look into floss holders or interdental brushes that make it easier to reach back teeth. You may want to consider using an antiseptic mouthwash as an “insurance policy” to remove any lingering bacteria from your teeth.
Are You Ready for a Consultation?
If you have questions about how to maintain and reduce your TMJ pain, working with an experienced medical professional can help you start down the road to relief. Pasadena Pain Management can help. With more than 40 years of treating patients with TMJ and craniofacial pain I can provide you with treatments to reduce your pain and enhance your quality of life.
Schedule your FREE consultation today online, or give us a call: 626-773-8333.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment 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.