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4 Bad Habits That Make TMJ Pain Disorders Feel Even Worse

Many of us have a habit or two we’d like to give up — but don’t.

But what if your habit was affecting your health?

For those who have been diagnosed with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, some bad habits may be causing increased TMJ pain.

The following are some of the worst habits for those with TMJ pain.

1. NAIL BITING

Biting your nails forces your jaw to work in ways that it was not intended to work. This unnatural movement can aggravate your TMJ pain, causing unnecessary discomfort. How can you stop yourself from biting your nails? Give these ideas a try:

  • Take care of your nails by trimming and filing them regularly.
  • Get manicures to keep them looking nice.
  • Use a nail polish designed specifically for deterring nail biting.
  • Ask your friends and family to help you kick the habit by calling attention to your unconscious nail biting.

2. GRINDING YOUR TEETH OR CLENCHING YOUR JAW

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 trying these methods:

  • Manage your stress and anxiety levels. Stress and anxiety are closely tied to tooth grinding and jaw clenching.
  • The next time you have an appointment at Pasadena Pain Management, inquire about a mouth piece to protect your teeth and jaw.
  • Start to train yourself by positioning your tongue in between your teeth throughout the day to keep your teeth from touching.

3. USING YOUR TEETH AS TOOLS 

Your teeth were never meant to be a substitute for scissors or other sharp tools. By using your teeth like they are scissors, you put yourself at risk of developing increased TMJ pain because of the unusual positions and movements you’re making with your teeth and jaw.

4. EATING CRUNCHY OR HARD FOODS

No matter how great they taste, there are just some foods that cause more TMJ pain than they’re worth. Staying away from foods that are hard or crunchy can help you avoid moving your jaw in unnatural ways while you’re chewing.

Breaking a bad habit can take time — up to 6 weeks — so don’t get frustrated if these small changes end up taking longer than expected. The time investment will be worth it when your TMJ pain starts to decrease.

Treatment for TMJ Disorders, Migraines, Headaches in Pasadena 

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.