Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (often referred to as TMJ or TMD) is a condition characterized by pain that is localized around the joint that connects your jaw and skull. Because the jaw is used in so many daily activities, TMJ pain can cause a variety of different issues, including difficulties with speaking, eating, or drinking, if left untreated. Luckily, there are several steps you can take in order to prevent TMJ. Read on to learn more.
Eating foods that are especially hard or chewy, such as taffy or apples, can cause stress on your jaw. This can exacerbate the pain caused by TMJ or make it difficult to heal. It is best to eat these types of foods sparingly when recovering from or preventing TMJ. Additionally, it can be beneficial to alternate which side you use to chew so that no side is doing more work than the other.
Slouching can actually have a negative impact on the way your jaw functions. This can cause or add to TMJ pain. When seeking TMJ treatment Broomfield CO, your doctor may suggest visiting a physical therapist in an attempt to correct your posture.
It is important to allow your jaw time to rest when not performing necessary functions such as eating or speaking. Behaviors such as thumb-sucking, chewing on fingernails or pen caps, chewing on gum, or even resting your chin on your hands and other surfaces can all cause undue stress on your jaw.
Clenching your jaw is one of the most common contributors to TMJ pain. Jaw-clenching can be a result of stress, or it may be a sign of an underlying condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. Wearing a mouth guard at night and setting reminders on your phone to unclench your jaw throughout the day can help with this.
Although TMJ pain can be frustrating and cause many problems, there are many ways to prevent this type of pain. Talk to your doctor or dentist if you have concerns about your jaw pain.