Are you tired of TMJ pain that just won’t go away? Chances are, you are doing things without even realizing it that are making your condition worse. In this blog, we have enlisted 11 common things exacerbating your TMJ pain.
Common Habits That Aggravate TMJ Pain
Here is a list of things you should not do in this condition.
- Use Teeth as Tools
Opening that stubborn package or smoothing out a jagged nail with your teeth is tempting. But think twice before doing so! Grabbing a hard solid object with teeth puts unnecessary stress on your jaw joint and muscles, aggravating your TMJ symptoms. Take some time out to maintain a proper tool kit to use when needed.
- Nervous Chewing
We have all been there, nervously chewing pens or pencils due to stress or anxiety. It is common and a big contributor to making TMJ pain worse. Instead of seeking comfort through this, try opting for sugar-free mints when you need to soothe your nerves.
- Using One Side for Chewing
Do you chew food on one side of your mouth? If so, it is time to switch! Uneven chewing can lead to TMJ discomfort and joint dysfunction.
- Resting Your Chin on Your Hand
While it may seem comfortable to rest your chin on your hand while reading or watching TV, it actually damages your jaw. The pressure on the side dislodges the disc to cause TMJ pain.
- Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is a major culprit in worsening TMJ symptoms. If you catch yourself grinding your teeth, take action to stop this harmful habit immediately. A nighttime mouthguard can help prevent teeth grinding while you sleep.
- Regular Tobacco Use
Smoking not only harms your teeth song with heightens the risk of TMJ and other chronic pain conditions.
- Bad Posture
You may not consider this important, but your posture affects your jaw alignment. Poor positioning, such as rounded shoulders or a protruding neck, can exacerbate discomfort.
- Sleep on Your Back
If you are a stomach sleeper, you might unknowingly put extra pressure on your jaw with a hand under your chin during sleep. Try sleeping on your back with a slightly elevated neck using a pillow to reduce jaw strain.
- Chewing Gum All the Time
Chewing gum is good and enjoyable too, but it isn’t your jaw’s best friend. Chewing places a significant strain on your jaw joint – the infamous TMJ when done continuously for hours. Give your mouth some rest, skip the gum, and find any suitable alternative.
Yawning is a natural reflex that increases the amount of oxygen going into the body. However, in people with TMJ, it strains the temporomandibular joints – TMJ (joints that connect your jawbone to your skull) a lot more than usual. This is because yawning requires you to open your mouth wide, which can stretch the muscles and ligaments and hurt them.
- Not Seeking Treatment Sooner
Do not wait for your symptoms to disappear on their own. Seeking prompt treatment makes a significant difference in your recovery time.
Our expert panel at Smile Time Dental is just a call away to offer the best solutions to TMJ disorder. Dial (281) 245-0711 and book an appointment. Or, you can drop by at 10185 Westview Dr, Houston, TX 77043.