For those who suffer from TMJ, there is nothing worse than aggravating your symptoms. Several habits can worsen your TMJ symptoms, and it’s essential to avoid these at all costs.

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Here are five habits that can worsen TMJ symptoms:

   1.) Poor Posture

Make postural adjustments to reduce everyday activities such as reading a book, checking emails on the computer, watching TV, using your phone, and driving while sitting too long. These can trigger TMJ problems, especially if you start doing them while sitting in one position for extended periods.

If you find yourself sitting too long (or standing too long), try adjusting your position every thirty minutes or so.

2.) Using Your Teeth as Tools

It’s important to avoid using your teeth to open jars, crush ice, or other complex objects. Also, try avoiding chewing on pencils and pens, biting your nails, using your teeth as openers for cans, bottles, and boxes.

If you notice that you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night while sleeping (also called bruxism), cover your mouth with a dental guard when you sleep to prevent the habit from continuing throughout the night.

3.) Using Tobacco

Smoking is terrible for oral hygiene as well as for the rest of your body. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which can cause teeth staining and affect jaw alignment.

In addition to these negative effects, smoking also increases your risk for a number of TMJ-linked conditions, including arthritis and disc displacement in your neck.

4.) Eating Tough Foods

When it comes to your oral health, it’s best to avoid those foods that are difficult to chew. These include raw vegetables, bones, and hard candy as they can easily damage your jaw.

In extreme circumstances, you could chip a tooth or crack a filling which will increase your risk for gum disease and other adverse health effects.

If you notice that any of these habits have been affecting your TMJ symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist. The sooner you treat the problem, the less likely it is that you’ll suffer from long-term damage.

5.) Using Hard Toothbrushes and Hard Bristled Toothpaste

Using hard toothbrushes and stiff-bristled toothpaste can be bad for your teeth and gums. You should consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle toothpaste if you want to keep TMJ symptoms at bay.

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Are you experiencing TMJ symptoms? Contact us at Konig Center for Cosmetic & Comprehensive Dentistry to start the journey towards dental happiness with a consultation.

Dr. Konig and his expert office staff are waiting to make your dental dreams a reality. Fill out our contact form or call us at (713) 668-2289. We offer various dental services and treatments at our office in Houston, TX.

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