The TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) connects the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull, allowing movement, such as talking, chewing and yawning. Any problem associated with this part of the face is called a TMJ disorder, wherein the patient experiences persistent pain and tenderness in the jaw area, ear and neck.
If you are suffering from this disorder, whether it was caused by an injury, stress or excessive teeth grinding, it will be safe for you to avoid these three everyday habits.
Chewing greatly involves the muscles surrounding the TMJ. If you chew on gum, you are driving these muscles into overdrive, flexing and relaxing them up to a hundred times per minute. This repetitive movement places excessive stress on your already sore and sensitive TMJ. Instead of gums, you may chew on sugar-free mints instead, but remember not to bite on them.
Taking Large Bites
Often, patients with TMJ disorder experience pain when opening their mouth wide to accommodate a large bite of food. This exertive movement overextends the TMJs, straining their muscles and tendons. We recommend you avoid food that requires opening the mouth too wide, such as burgers and sandwiches. Otherwise, cut them into smaller pieces.
Drinking Excessive Amount of Coffee and Tea
A TMJ disorder and a caffeine addiction do not go well together. Coffee is commonly associated with stress, known to increase the heart rate and blood flow. It also causes unconscious tensing of the muscles, those surrounding the TMJ included. Additionally, the effect of caffeine is associated with the development of bruxism, or involuntary night-time grinding, which is one of the leading causes of TMJ disorder.
Harley Street Dental Clinic offers treatments for TMJ disorder. These include Occlusal Splints, also known as bite guards. They relieve muscle tension and reduce compression of the inflamed jaw joints. We also manage the disease through a multi-disciplinary approach, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and TMJ surgery. For enquiries about TMJ disorder and our list treatments, contact us today.