If you are dealing with chronic headaches, earaches, pain in your neck, and an aggravating ache in your shoulders, one problem could be at the root of your problems. Add jaw pain or a clicking noise when you eat and TMJ is most likely to blame.
TMJ, or temporomandibular disorder, affects millions of Americans, although many do not know that they are victims. The temporomandibular joint is the hinge that connects your lower and upper jaw to your skull. When it is out of balance, strained, or inflamed, it can really wreak havoc on your life. Once you’ve gone to a dentist and confirmed that TMJ is your dilemma, you need to think about TMJ causes in order to eliminate your suffering once and for all.
1. The stress factor
People who deal with a crushing load of pressure in their daily lives will find that it takes quite a toll on the body. In addition to increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, being stressed can make you tense all of the time. Each time that you are overwhelmed with tension, you could be clenching your jaw all of the time or grinding your teeth at night. If this is the case, find ways to deal with your stress in a healthy way. Try massage and relaxation techniques.
2. That old football injury
Whether you played football and other contact sports or you’ve been involved in an accident that affected your jaw, TMJ could result long after the fact. You could be dealing with a misaligned jaw due to a blow. A dentist will be able to determine if this is the case and have a custom-made mouth guard created to correct the problem. This oral appliance is painless and worn nightly.
3. Your childhood allergies
If you suffered allergies as a child and lived with a frequently blocked nose, you probably had to breath through your mouth a lot. Your tongue’s natural resting spot is on the roof of your mouth. When you are growing, your tongue acts as a support and helps your upper jaw develop properly. If you were a mouth breather, your upper jaw arch lost its support when you instinctively moved your tongue away from the roof of your mouth to let air in.
Take a good look at anything you might be doing to irritate your TMJ disorder. Avoid hard or extremely chewy foods and don’t chew on ice cubes. Rest your jaw each evening and do your best to relax. A heating pad or damp towel that has been heated in the microwave can be effective as well. With patience, you can solve TMJ problems.
If you would like to learn more about TMJ, please download my free e-book.