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June 14, 2022

4 Things to Avoid if You Have TMJ Disorder

Dental patient with TMJ disorder

If you’re dealing with TMJ disorder, see your Ann Arbor dentist. They’ll likely be able to prescribe you a mouth guard, pain relievers, or therapy to help. Until then, you’ll want to steer clear of anything that would aggravate your condition. After all, there’s no point in making your wait more painful than necessary. That said, here are four things to avoid if you have TMJ issues.

Chewing Gum

While tasty and enjoyable, chewing gum when your TMJ hurts isn’t a good idea.

You see, your jaw is the most used joint in the body. Gum — something meant to be chewed — would cause the joint more pain. However, limiting excessive use of the joint and muscles alleviates pressure and gives them a chance to rest.

Resting these body parts is the first step in settling your TMJ symptoms.

Hard Foods

Products like bagels, steaks, nuts, and apples are also on the no-list. As with chewing gum, you should avoid such products when your TMJ has jaw pain.

These foods place excessive stress on your jaw, overworking the joint and surrounding muscles. Thus, they keep it from getting the rest necessary to heal properly.

Clenching Your Teeth

Medically known as bruxism, teeth-clenching often occurs while you sleep. In some cases, though, it can happen during the day. Either way, it’s usually the result of stress. Dentists often suggest mouthguards and relaxation techniques to those who struggle with it.

Day or night, bruxism is a real problem when you have TMJ pain. Clenched teeth can place incredible stress on your jaw’s muscles. Take steps to avoid clenching to reduce your jaw’s soreness.

Resting on Your Chin

Many of us rest our chins in our hands while we study, browse social media, watch TV, etc. Unfortunately, this comfortable position can affect your jaw.

This posture creates pressure on the side of your jaw, which can push against the joint. As it does so, it can move the disc out of place and create problems with how your jaw opens and closes.

Work to break your chin-resting habit so your joint can heal in peace.

As long as you stay away from things like the above items, your TMJ disorder shouldn’t worsen. That way, your future treatment will be easier for you and your dentist.

About the Practice

Dr. James Olson has practiced dentistry in Ann Arbor, MI, for over thirty years. He performs preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental work as a family dentist. However, Dr. Olson also specializes in TMJ therapy. If you have a stiff, sore jaw and headaches, he and his team have the technology to diagnose your condition and treat the problem. He currently practices at his self-titled clinic and can be reached at his website or by phone at (734)-996-0200.

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