Although many habits are bad on their own, when suffering from TMJ Disorder, they can cause more damage than usual. For example, bad posture, eating habits, and biting your nails are all habits that should be avoided; however, these bad habits can also be negatively affecting your health. For those who have been diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder, your bad habits might even be increasing your TMJ pain substantially.
Whether you find yourself grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw at night or throughout the day, both can lead to increased TMJ-related jaw pain. Work on breaking this habit before it causes ongoing TMJ pain by managing your stress and anxiety levels, coming to Dr. Sid Solomon or similar TMJ expert to get a night guard to avoid teeth grinding, and by positioning your tongue in between your teeth during the day to prevent your teeth from connecting.
An unfortunate TMD truth is that despite how good a food is, there are some foods that are much more difficult, and therefore not recommended, to eat. Foods that are hard, crunchy or extremely chewy should be avoided when you are suffering from TMD. This includes apples, many raw vegetables, caramel and taffy, hard candy, crunchy cereals and granola, and even popcorn and chips.
We have all done it. . . Use our teeth to open bags, rip off tags and other tasks that are meant to be done by tools. Unfortunately, this can be terrible for your teeth and your TMJ pain, so leave the work to scissors and let your teeth be teeth! To prevent the impulse to use your teeth, keep little scissors in your purse or pocket or simply as someone you’re with to help you.
When you bite your nails, similarly to chewing hard food, you’re actually making your jaw work in a way that is stressful to it. This unnatural movement can further aggravate your TMJ pain, causing unnecessary discomfort. Needing to stop biting your nails? Try trimming and filing them regularly, get them professionally done to prevent and discourage n ail biting or you can even buy nail polish that is specifically made for deterring nail biting.
Although breaking bad habits will be helpful with TMJ pain management, seeing a TMD specialist like TMJ expert Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS, is key in the diagnosis and treatment of your TMJ pain. Call 310-475-5598 to schedule your TMJ consultation today!