Tag Archives: TMJ

TMJ and Two Week Visits.

17 Oct

I’m counting down the weeks in single digits now! Gulp. It’s so close. My OB-GYN visits are now every two weeks, and putting on any form of shoes that require being fastened in any way is damn near impossible. So is shaving. Funny story: I shaved “down there” last week before my appointment, and realized later that I missed a spot. A big spot. As in my whole vag was bald except for this one tuft of hair. I still haven’t bothered to fix it. My new rule is, I only shave the night before I see my doctor. That way, when she decides to go “Ok! Today we’re going to do your GBS test!”, I’m not like “Shit, my vagina resembles a jungle and I have man legs”. Sorry, M. You loved me enough to put a baby inside me, you must love me enough to not mind my legs scratching yours when you’re trying to sleep.

Other fun pregnancy related things I’ve noticed recently:

– My nipples are flaking. I’m not sure if they’re just really dry, or if it’s from leaking, but yeah. Flaky nips. Sexy!

– I have worse than normal gas, and it smells. Bad enough to make ME leave the room. Not cool.

– I’ve sprouted a few more skin tags. Still in the groin area. WHY??? (Note: I know this not because I can see them, that’s just ridiculous. I felt them while I was shaving last week.)

Aaaaand something that really sucks. My TMJ pain has been constant for a week and a half now. It used to bother me for a day and then disappear for a few weeks, but not anymore, apparently. I’m barely sleeping, I have to force myself to suffer through eating, and if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t talk, ever. I’m trying to take as little tylenol as possible for it, but some days it’s hard. As I type, I’ve got a heating pad stuffed under my chin and around the side of my face so that I can actually swallow without wanting to die. I’ve found some stretching/jaw strengthening exercises that have been helping somewhat. On the chance that there are others reading this that suffer from TMJ pain, here are the exercises I’ve been doing (three times a day) and a few other tips I’ve found to make a difference. Please note, I am not a doctor, and these may not work for everyone.

Sleep on your back. This sucks when you’re pregnant, because you’re not supposed to sleep on your back. So I’ve been propping myself up so my upper back is on an incline, and sleeping like that. It takes me a lot longer to fall asleep, but I’m guessing it’s helping me to not clench my teeth together so much when I’m sleeping since I’m not waking up in excrutiating pain anymore.

Avoid crunchy, chewy, or otherwise tough foods. If unavoidable, cut into reeeeaaaaally small pieces, and chew slowly and gently. No huge sandwiches that require you to open your mouth really wide either! (Boo)

Moist heat is best for helping muscles to relax, but if you don’t want to sit around with hot, damp towels on your face, a heating pad does offer some relief as well. You can also try a flexible ice pack and see which one helps you more.

Always keep your teeth slightly separated. This has been hard for me. I am a habitual clencher. If you catch yourself clenching, relax. Stop what you’re doing for a moment, relax your jaw muscles, and when you go back to your task, pay attention to your teeth. Don’t let them touch! Placing your tongue softly behind your upper front teeth can help.

Maintain good posture. This is also tough for me, I don’t slouch with my shoulders so much but I have noticed that my head tilts down a lot, especially when on the computer.

Exercises:

I repeat these three times daily; morning, noon, and night. I find they are most effective when I apply heat for 20 minutes beforehand, to loosen everything up.

–  Neck rolls. Roll neck to the left, hold for 10. Roll back, hold for 10. Roll right, hold for 10. Roll forward, hold for 10. Repeat 5 times.

– Open your mouth slowly, and with hand turned sideways, insert 2 or 3 fingers. Do not let your bottom teeth touch your bottom finger, but rest your upper teeth on your top finger. Hold for 10, slowly close mouth. Repeat 5 times.

– With your hand flat against the side of your face (fingertips by ear, heel of palm on your chin), apply gently sideways pressure to your chin. Gently push back against your hand with your jaw, so that your chin is in proper alignment. Hold for 5. Repeat 5 times on each side.

– Without tilting your head up, jut your lower jaw forward as far as you can, hold for 10. Then, without tilting your head down, bring your jaw back in (basically, you should be giving yourself an extra chin), hold for 10. Repeat 5 times.

After I’ve done my exercises I usually rub some lotion or massage oil in my hands, and gently massage from beside my ears, down my jawline, and down my neck in long, smooth strokes.

I also like to massage my temples and just under my cheekbones slowly with a little pressure. Something that helps take the pressure away temporarily is to stick my finger just inside my ear, and push forward on that little flap, I don’t know what it’s called.

And now I pray, in hopes that this will all be a thing of the past once Jaxson has arrived. If not, I don’t know what I’ll do. Go crazy? It’s likely.