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January 12, 2024

How Can Bad Posture Cause Jaw Pain?

Man has jaw pain

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ, can result in headaches, clicking or popping noises during chewing, or pain when yawning. While many people deal with jaw pain or TMJ disorders, few of them probably realize how poor posture can contribute to the problem. Unfortunately, a sedentary lifestyle and a desk job can take their toll on someone’s skeleton, but there are things you can do to prevent TMJ issues from happening. Here’s how poor posture can cause jaw pain as well as what you can do to prevent it.

How Can Poor Posture Cause TMJ Pain?

TMJ problems are often caused by alignment issues in the neck and shoulders. The joints keeping the jaw in place need to be precisely balanced to stay healthy. Poor posture can throw this alignment off, leading the jaw joints to pop, lock, cramp, misalign, or even spasm. This can even lead to backaches, neckaches, headaches, or constant tension in the face. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to help keep your jaw healthy and comfortable.

How Can I Improve My Posture?

If you are dealing with jaw pain, working on your posture may do a lot to relieve it. A few simple tips include:

  • When walking, pretend that you are carrying a book on your head. This will keep you from slouching and make you push your shoulders back, which will help your neck and spinal column remain in proper alignment.
  • When sitting, sit with your back against the chair instead of slouching forward. Leaning toward a computer screen can bend your back out of alignment while also causing eye strain, but keeping your back against the chair will help support it and maintain your posture.
  • Get moving! Regular exercise can work wonders to improve somebody’s health. You can go for a walk, shoot hoops, do yoga, run, or play with your pets. This will help build your muscles and strengthen your cardiovascular system to help you maintain excellent posture.
  • Enjoy a nice stretch. Stretching can help you stay flexible and make you more resilient to injury, and both of these can be a lot of help for the health of your back. If you find yourself sitting for a long period of time, get up, walk around, and stretch out a bit to improve your posture over the long term.

Excellent posture prevents TMJ pain, and many people find it extremely attractive! By taking a few measures to help your back, neck, and shoulders stay in the right places, you may be able to chew more comfortably while enjoying better physical health.

About the Author

Dr. James Olsen graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1988 before opening his private practice in Ann Arbor with only one operatory and a single employee. He is a proud member of the American Dental Association, the Michigan Dental Association, and the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics. His office in Ann Arbor, MI offers preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. If you are dealing with TMJ pain, contact the office online or dial (734) 996-0200.

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