Are You Unintentionally Making Your TMJ Worse?

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder consists of a series of disorders that affect the joint
where your jaw attaches to your skull. These conditions are often painful, leading to jaw
soreness, inability to open the mouth all the way, and muscle tension.

Did you know that certain habits can aggravate your TMJ disorder and make your symptoms
worse? If you have any of the following behaviors, you might be hurting your jaw even more.
Here are the top habits that might cause you undue pain and stress!

Inappropriately Using Your Teeth

Your teeth were meant to chew food, not to open packages, chew on pens, bite your
fingernails, or crunch ice. All of these things not only damage your teeth, but can impact
symptoms of your TMJ disorder as well. These actions put pressure on your TMJ and can cause
muscle tension, which could result in aching or a worsening of your symptoms. Remember that
your teeth are for food and stop using them to accomplish other tasks that could damage your

Grinding Your Teeth

Bruxism is the condition of grinding your teeth, either during times of stress or even while
asleep. This is an extremely damaging habit that can intensify your TMJ disorder. It puts an
immense amount of pressure on your jaw and cause the joint to become inflamed, resulting in
pressure and tension that will make your TMJ pain worse. If you suffer from bruxism, your
dentist can help you get the treatment you need to stop damaging your teeth and making your
TMJ disorder worse!

Being Stressed Out

Stress impacts our bodies in all types of ways. One of the things chronic stress does is cause
muscle tension in different areas of the body. If you already suffer from TMJ disorder, the
muscles in your jaw could be impacted by your stress and become tense. Not only can this
cause jaw pain, but it can create tension headaches as well, which are another symptom of TMJ
disorder. By better managing your stress, you can avoid making your TMJ disorder worse!

Having Terrible Posture

Sitting up straight isn’t just good for your spine—it could also help alleviate symptoms of your
TMJ disorder as well. Having terrible posture such as hunching over, hanging your head, or not
standing or sitting up straight may impact your jaw. Improper posture can put strain on the
muscles in your head, neck, and jaw, leading to more tension that can make your symptoms
worse. Try to exercise proper posture at all times. If you need to, invest in a better chair for
your desk or take frequent breaks so you can stop hunching over!

Do you suffer from TMJ disorder and have these bad habits? You could be unintentionally
making your TMJ symptoms worse! You can incorporate healthy habits in your lifestyle to help
make your TMJ symptoms just a little easier to manage. By handling your stress, having good
posture, and properly caring for your teeth, TMJ symptoms can be less painful!