June is here, and that means another National Jerky Day. It’s a great day to remember the fun foods that you can eat when relaxing or when you are enjoying outdoor activities like camping, because jerky makes great trail food. Jerky can also cause problems for some dental patients, though, and it is important to understand how to take care of yourself while eating it, especially if you experience TMJ pain.


Identifying TMJ Pain

Temporomandibular joint pain, often called TMJ, is a symptom of underlying trauma to the jaw at the joint, and it can develop for a variety of reasons:

  • Tooth grinding from stress
  • Injury
  • Slippage of the cartilage disc in the joint
  • Degradation with age
  • Connective tissue disorders

Most TMJ pain is easily treatable with a combination of methods that vary from patient to patient, but this pain can be aggravated through certain activities.


Alleviating TMJ Pain

On top of the treatments recommended by your dentist, you can alleviate TMJ pain by avoiding the activities that can aggravate it. That includes avoiding reinjuring the jaw through physical activity, but it also includes lifestyle modifications. One of those involves avoiding overly tough or chewy foods that causes pain flares making it easier to cope with and to reduce the chances of further flares.

Does this mean that you can’t enjoy National Jerky Day? Absolutely not. If you choose varieties that are more tender, processes that yield more bite sized pieces, or you simply use restraint, it is easy to work with your physical limitations to participate in the day. It’s even better to get TMJ treated, though, because then you will be able to enjoy the next jerky day along with other chewy or sticky treats without hesitation.


Making Your Appointment

 If you are dealing with TMJ in Pittsburg, PA, call today to set up an appointment with the experienced dentists at South Hills Dental Arts.