Everyday Habits That Lead to Jaw Discomfort
If you suffer from temporomandibular disorder, also known as TMD, or if you have ever experienced jaw discomfort, you know how uncomfortable it can be. During an episode, it can be difficult to chew, open your mouth, and even talk. If you don’t have an official diagnosis, but experience discomfort in the jaw muscles, unexplained headaches, or have a difficult time opening and closing your jaw, you may have TMD. There are daily habits that might be contributing to your discomfort or causing TMD flare-ups and can greatly affect your quality of life.
Harmful Habits to Avoid When Living With TMD
These harmful habits can be escalating your TMD symptoms and causing you added discomfort:
Using Your Teeth as a Tool
It can be tempting to use your teeth to open a package or rip a tag off a new item. It is best to leave your teeth for chewing and use scissors or an appropriate tool instead. Using your teeth as a tool is not only dangerous to your teeth, but can also put added pressure on your jaw or leave your jaw in an unnatural position.
Over Consuming Caffeine or Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can increase muscle activity, leading to clenching and grinding your teeth. Many times, this occurs when the patient is not aware, such as during sleep. This constant added pressure to your jaw muscles can cause a flare-up.
Chewing Non-Food Items
When dealing with jaw discomfort, it is important to be sure that you are eating softer foods and staying away from chewing any non-food items. It can be easy to mindlessly chew on a pen or pencil when working, or biting fingernails. We also recommend staying away from chewing hard and tough food items such as ice cubes and steak.
If you are located in the Terre Haute, IN area and are experiencing jaw discomfort or think you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, we recommend scheduling an appointment at our office. We want to help you be free from discomfort and ensure that your teeth and jaw are healthy.