One major cause of TMJ disorders is stress. Stress can contribute to teeth grinding and clenching, poor sleep, and other issues. Did you know there are healthy foods you eat every day that can help reduce and control stress? Here is some information on which foods help cut stress, and why.
Food can act in several ways to help with stress. Foods containing complex cabs, like whole-grain bread and oatmeal, stimulate the brain to produce more serotonin. Serotonin helps calm the brain and boost good feelings. Other foods, like vitamin C-rich oranges, can reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Fish with omega-3 fatty acids can work to prevent surges of stress hormones as well. Foods with B vitamins, like almonds, may make you more resilient during bouts of stress. And calcium-containing milk can ease anxiety and mood swings.
Other foods work on less of a chemical level. For example, munching on raw vegetables like celery or carrots can help release clenched jaws and reduce tension. A light bedtime snack (along with your glass of milk) can also be good. In addition to being relaxing, a release of serotonin prompted by some carbs can help you sleep quicker and better.
One of the principles of a healthy diet is balance, so remember to be moderate in what you eat. But your diet can be a great ally in managing stress that can contribute to TMJ disorder. To learn more about TMJ treatment or to set an appointment with Dr. Carl McMillan, please call our American Fork, UT, office today.