Living with Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of discomfort and pain. These days, treatments are available to manage the symptoms and reduce the impact on their lives. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ, it’s worth keeping in mind that certain negative habits could be hampering your recovery.
If you find yourself doing any of the below on a day-to-day basis, it’s time to make a change:
Bad Habit #1 – Biting your nails
This common habit often pops up during moments of stress, nervousness, and anxiety, and it’s common to be unaware that you’re doing it until it’s pointed out to you. If your nails are bitten and rough, and you suspect or know you’re biting them, you should stop as soon as possible, because it places negative pressure on your jaw. Sometimes simply being aware of the habit can prevent you from doing it, while others might need a helping hand, for example by applying bitter nail polish to their fingers.
Bad Habit #2 – Using your teeth out of laziness
Ever been eager to open a bottle of drink or bag of chips with your teeth? You might not think that this is a big deal, but your teeth and jaw are not supposed to be used this way, using your teeth as tools can set your TMJ treatment back, or reduce its efficacy. Make sure that you have a pair of scissors around when and where you might need them, to prevent misuse of your teeth.
Bad Habit #3 – Frequently eating foods you shouldn’t
TMJ doesn’t mean giving up on eating all your favourite foods completely – it just means you should be more wary of the types of food you. Snacks that are very crunchy, hard to bite, and chewy are best avoided, as they put unnecessary stress on your temporomandibular joint. Foods that tend to get caught between your teeth, like nutty granola or popcorn, can also exacerbate your symptoms.
Most people are guilty of at least one of the habits listed above. Taking steps to cut down on them will not only make you feel more in control, but will also help you to manage your TMJ better as well.
If you’d like more information about successfully overcoming your TMJ with a multi-faceted approach, contact the TMJ Centre Melbourne today