Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder can be caused by different circumstances such as misaligned bite, injury or arthritis. While millions of American adults suffer from the symptoms related to TMJ, there are behaviors that can be aggravating the condition, making the symptoms worse. Naturally, there are environmental factors that we don’t have much control over. But once those are recognized, we can change the way we respond to them. By better managing your stress, you can alleviate not only TMJ afflictions but other discomforts such as headaches and back and shoulder aches. Stress can also lead to grinding your teeth, bruxism, and muscle tension.
Other habits that can intensify the disorder that we can correct are often simple, such as using your teeth only as they are intended – to chew food. They are not for opening packages, biting our fingernails, or chewing on pens! And you might be surprised to know that sitting up straight isn’t just good for your spine. Bad posture, such as hunching over, hanging your head, and not standing up straight can impact the muscles in your head, neck and jaw.
If you have indications such as tenderness in the jaw or surrounding muscles, clicking, popping or difficulty in opening or closing your mouth, jaw, head or neck pain, or sensitive teeth when no other dental problems can be found, you likely have TMJ disorder. At C R Dental Group, located in Dallas, Texas, Dr. James Reisman and Dr. Jordana Contrucci have considerable experience in diagnosing and treating TMJ. If you have been diagnosed, or suspect you may have this condition, speak with your dentist about treatment. Also be aware of your habits, as mentioned above, to alleviate unwanted symptoms and, ideally, to prevent further damage in the long run.