Do you routinely suffer from discomfort in your jaw or experience frequent headaches and migraines? If so, you may have a common condition known as TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition arises when the jaw joint, muscles in the jaw and face, and facial nerves that control the movement of the jaw become misaligned, injured, or inflamed. We offer treatments to help this condition; however, certain habits could be creating or adding to the discomfort you may be experiencing. Read on to learn if you are making your TMD symptoms worse.
Bad Habits that Negatively Impact TMD
If you have been diagnosed with TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, or suffer from symptoms such as discomfort in the jaw, frequent headaches, clicking or popping when opening the mouth or a mouth that is difficult to close you may be frustrated with your quality of life. Certain habits you have could be contributing to your symptoms and discomfort, and we can recommend making some small changes:
Taking Large Bites of Food
When experiencing discomfort in the jaw and facial area, it is important to reflect on how you eat your food. Cutting food into smaller pieces will help eliminate the need to continuously open your mouth wide. During times of discomfort, you may also choose to switch to softer foods. We also recommend chewing food on both sides of your mouth equally. Chewing predominantly on one side can cause jaw discomfort.
Chewing Non-Food Items
It can be tempting to use your teeth as a tool or chew on items such as a pen cap when you are feeling stressed or nervous. Teeth are not meant to be used for this purpose, and you can cause severe damage to them, plus your jaw can become tender and inflamed as well.
We also suggest avoiding:
- Clenching and grinding your teeth
- Chewing gum on a regular basis
- Resting your jaw or chin on your hands
- Poor posture
If you are experiencing any discomfort that you feel may be related to TMD, be sure to contact us to schedule an appointment. We can evaluate your symptoms and the state of your oral health and create a treatment plan to bring you relief. We look forward to seeing you in our office located in Brunswick, GA soon.