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TMJ: Break These Bad Habits

Cleveland TMJ pain jaw discomfortExperiencing temporomandibular joint pain? You might have TMJ. The symptoms can be identified when the joints of the jaw and muscles do not work together correctly. Since some types of TMJ can lead to more serious conditions, prevention and early detection is key. If you are experiencing minor jaw pain, here are three bad habits that you can break today to prevent any longterm TMJ disorders from occurring or worsening.

  1. Biting your nails
  2. Overworking (anxiety and stress)
  3. Control caffeine consumption

Bad habits, even if believed to be innocent, may actually be affecting your health. For example, if you have one or more of these bad habits, you may be creating the root of the problem.

1. Biting Nails: Biting your fingernails exercises the jaw to work in an unnatural way. This anxiety-induced habit can aggravate and cause jaw discomfort, which in most cases, leads to TMJ

Looking for ways to quit biting your nails? Here are some tips!

  • Paint your nails using a nail polish.
  • Keep nails trimmed short.
  • Recruit the help of friends and family to bring attention to the habit.

2. Grinding Teeth or Clenching Jaw: This common habit is often found in patients who experience higher levels of stress and anxiety; this can result in clenching or grinding, both conscious or unconscious.

Looking for ways to quit grinding your teeth? Here are some tips!

  • Acknowledge and manage your stress and anxiety levels.
  • Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and jaw.
  • Periodically reposition your tongue between teeth to relax the jaw.

Cut the Caffeine : With all the possibilities that may cause TMJ flareups, caffeine might just be the hardest to give up for the majority of patients. So what does caffeine have to do with TMJ? Essentially the chemical reaction that creates alertness winds up your nervous system, which can worsen already aggravated tissues in the head, neck and jaw.

Looking for ways to cut the caffeine? Here are some tips!

  • Don’t give up your morning cup of coffee – just switch to decaf.
  • Trade your coffee pot for a tea kettle. Drinking green tea is a natural energizer, while also providing a plethora of antioxidants and nutrients.

If you’re experiencing consistent jaw pain, it may be time to make an appointment with Ocoee Oral Surgery of Cleveland, TN. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about TMJ and our available treatment options for you.