Understanding TMJ Disorder Aggravating Behaviors and Pain Management


Understanding TMJ disorder begins with our day-to-day behaviors. Our behavior, whether knowingly or unknowingly, can be detrimental to our overall wellbeing. Making a conscious effort to avoid certain habits that we’ve built over the years can be the first stepping stone towards a healthier more rewarding life and relief from TMJ disorder.

When exhibiting Temporomandibular Joint Disorder symptoms that extra care and attention goes a long in elevating the pain. Rediscovering the practices that you’ve been taking for granted over time that might be causing that extra strain on the facial and TMJ muscles. 

In this blog we are going knee deep, looking at all the aggravating factors and pain management methods to restore and rejuvenate your health and happiness. Let’s dive in already!


Effects of Posture in TMJ Pain Manifestation 

Slouched posture can be a major aggravating factor in TMJ pain. Factors such as desk work and use of cellular devices can add that extra strain on the Temporomandibular Joint.

 The neck and jaw are inherently connected. A forward head position will result in the setting of jaw bone deeper into the joint sockets. This resultant malalignment of the muscles could result in muscle imbalances resulting in further irritation of the Temporomandibular Joint.

 Fixing your posture might have incredible benefits in solving your TMJ symptoms. Correcting your neck and shoulder position by placing a towel or rolled up garment might help cue your body to adapt to a more proper posture. 


Correlating TMJ Pain, Stress and Common Mental Health Disorder.

In a study carried out in 2016 on university students, considerable data indicated that increased levels of stress and anxiety had a direct correlation with TMD symptom manifestation. This in turn resulted in an increase in CMD among the student 

This shows how one factor can affect the other. Trying to reduce your stress levels shouldn’t just be as a way to relieve TMJ disorder. Generally dealing with your stress levels and seeking out help when you can’t do it yourself should be your top priority. A healthy mind can do great things. Ensuring that you dot on your mental health is the first step in a more fulfilling and rewarding future.


Oral Habits Effects on TMJ Pain 

Overuse of the TMJ muscles can result in microtraumas on the soft tissues that can cause considerable pain. Behaviors such as;

  • Chewing Gum – On a regular basis and excessively 
  • Writing utensils 
  • Lip and nail biting 
  • Grinding and clinching teeth 

Are some of the worst habits to have if you are already predisposed to TMD. The constant strain and usage of this muscles will eventually result in chronic pain which will have a major effect in your productivity and sleep patterns.

Replacing gum for mints can be one of the most subtle yet life changing decisions you’ll ever make. 


TMJ Pain and Excessive Mouth Opening  

The ideal limit to opening your mouth should be around 40 centimeters or three fingers placed vertically. It might seem odd but excessive yawning or laughing can lead to exhibition of some TMD symptoms. 

Individual in occupations such as singing can have an added risk due to the repeated and extensive opening of the mouth. 

To try and avoid this particular problem, placing a fist between your chin and breast bone can have amazing control of how far you open your mouth and effectively helping you avoid TMD 


Sleep Bruxism in Aggravating TMJ Pain 

Sleep bruxism is the involuntary teeth clenching and grinding during sleep. What makes it even more detrimental is the inability to control and diagnose it. You might just get stuck scratching your head wondering where all this is surfacing from. 

However, after diagnosis, placing a mouth guard while you rest will effectively combat this condition and potentially reduce the TMD symptoms you’ve been having 


Things to consider to relieve TMJ pain 

A variety of therapies can be use together to ensure your recovery is as smooth as in can be. We would personally recommend a drastic shift in your unhealthy behaviors and adopting healthy exercises. 

Unfortunately, sometimes the pain is just too extensive and at the end of the day a healthy body will result in increased productivity and generally improved mood A further consultation with your physician might also be helpful in ensuring your recovery is the best it can be. 

You might want to consider:

  • The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Using moist hot or cold packs 
  • Avoiding extreme jaw movements 
  • Eating softer foods when symptoms manifest 
  • Avoiding resting your chin in your hands 
  • Setting your teeth slightly apart 
  • Using a night guard or a splint 
  • And learning relaxation techniques.

Other treatment options you might want to consider are:

  • Trigger point injections
  • Radio wave therapy 
  • Low – Level Laser Therapy 
  • Surgery 
  • And Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS)


With the right amount of knowledge, surely anything is possible. Taking a keen interest in how your body is fairing and reacting to everything not only keeps us in tune but also helps us catch the problems early.

By having a mindfulness towards our body, we can lead a fruitful life bereft of unnecessary pain. A much happier life where we look forward to experiencing every new experience the universe has to bring.


So you know we're not making up these numbers, here's the article from NCBI. 


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