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TMJ treatment relies on self awareness + protecting yourself.

The holiday season is always an interesting time of the year for all of us.  It can be so many different things, and that changes from year to year.  There’s stress, tension, depression, and anxiety.  But, there’s also thankfulness, sharing, happiness, and excitement.  Those suffering from TMJ symptoms and chronic orofacial pain have to really be aware on how all of this can affect their TMJ treatment in positive and negative ways.  While it’s going to be different depending on the stage of your TMJ treatment, there are two things that remain constantly important.  Self-awareness has to be at an all time high.  You have to be aware, not only of your schedule, but when you’re becoming stressed and acting out in subtle bad habits that cause TMJ relapses.  Then, you have to be in a mindset to protect yourselfas soon as possible, through routine, relaxation, or in severe cases, make an appointment.  You need to be able to get back on track, enjoy yourself and progress through the holiday season and into a pain free new year! Last year we wrote a blog regarding relaxing during the holiday season.  We encourage you to check it out again as a constant reminder of how important these mechanisms are to your overall health and TMJ treatment. (How You Can Survive Holiday Stress). Now, how about those New Year’s resolutions? Well, we thought we’d give a quick easy few for our patients, as well as those that might just be coming to terms with the chance that they might have TMJ.


  1. Don’t stop utilizing your night guard!  It is there to prevent overactivity at night always.  Don’t think that because you’re not in pain, or doing really well, that your activity at night has changed.
  2. Set aside evening time to relax and get yourself comfortable.  It’s important to us all.  This time of year, it can be very easy to lose your relaxation in all the events and time crunch.
  3. Stop those bad, simple habits that you’re holding on to.  You’ve got to pay attention to them: biting nails, chewing gum, gnawing on pencils, and remove them from your usual routines.  Reduce unnecessary facial activity is the goal.  And, we don’t mean stop smiling!
  4. See me, Doctor Francis O’Day!  If you’re experiencing chronic facial pain, like those we describe and discuss (TMJ/TMD Education on our webpage), make an appointment right after the holidays.  You don’t have to continue to suffer, and you’re not alone!

It’s almost Christmas, but more importantly—it’s going to be a brand new year!  This year you’re continuing on your pain free path, or you’re finally get on it! The doctor will free you now. Doctor Francis O’Day