Everyone has good and bad habits. We have to hope that our good habits outweigh the bad and that our bad habits don’t cause damage or discomfort. Unfortunately, if you suffer from TMJ disorder, there are certain bad habits that can lead to a flare-up of symptoms. It can be hard to break bad habits, especially if they are things that you have been doing for many years, but to help your overall health, it is in your best interest to make some changes, even though they may be difficult. Read on to learn if these bad habits are affecting your TMJ.
Everyday Bad Habits that Can Affect TMJ
When you experience issues with TMJ and are receiving treatment, it is important to be mindful of any habits that may contribute to a flare-up of symptoms. We would suggest being conscious of these issues:
Chewing on Items that are Not Food
Many people have a tendency to mindlessly put things in their mouths and chew on them when they are thinking or nervous. The most common items are pens and fingernails. Chewing on hard items and non-food items can cause pressure on your jaw and lead to discomfort.
Taking Large Bites of Food
When your bites of food are too large, it causes you to repeatedly open your mouth wider than normal, which can aggravate and irritate your jaw muscles, causing discomfort after eating. We recommend cutting food into smaller bites to save some work for your jaw.
Using Teeth as Tools
Scissors were created for a reason, and they are the perfect tool—not your mouth—to help you open packages and cut tags. We also don’t recommend that you use your teeth to open bottles. This puts unnecessary pressure on your teeth and can affect the jaw muscles.
Sitting with Incorrect Posture
You may be surprised to learn that your posture can affect TMJ. Posture refers to the alignment of your spine and body when you are sitting, standing, or lying down. When you slouch and have poor posture, it can affect your bones and joints. Slouching and poor posture can put added pressure on your jawbone, leading to alignment issues and problems with TMJ.
If you are experiencing issues with your TMJ, we would love to help you. Be sure to contact our office located in Buffalo, NY for an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon!