Do you indulge in the occasional bad habit? Whether you bite your nails, eat junk food, drink too much coffee, or procrastinate, the list of bad habits can go on and on. What some fail to realize, is that some bad habits can be affecting your health in a negative way. For example, those that have been diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder, your bad habits can be the source of your increased TMJ pain. Are you ready to find out what some of the worst habits for those with TMJ are? Let’s break it down in the following article.
When biting your nails, your jaw is forced to work in ways that it was not designed to work. The unnatural movement of your jaw can aggravate TMJ pain, causing unnecessary discomfort. If you’re looking for tips and ways to finally beat your nail biting habit, try the following:
- Trim and file your nails regularly.
- Seek professional help to keep your nails looking nice.
- Use nail polish specifically designed for nail biting can also help.
- Have family and friends remind you if you bite your nails, calling attention to possible unconscious nail biting.
Grinding Your Teeth or Clenching Your Jaw
Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw at night or throughout the day can have the biggest negative impact on your TMJ pain. Work hard to break the habit by doing the following:
- Keep stress and anxiety levels at a minimum.
- Ask your TMJ specialist about a mouthpiece to protect your teeth and jaw while you sleep.
- Train your mouth by positioning your tongue in between your teeth throughout the day.
Eating Crunchy or Hard Foods
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, is there some foods that we can indulge in that cause more TMJ pain than others. Try to stay away from foods that are hard or crunchy in order to avoid any unnecessary or unnatural jaw movement. Avoid foods such as:
- Some fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery
- Sticky candies such as caramel
- Crunchy cereals and granolas
- Snacks like chips or popcorn
Whatever the case may be, we can all live a happier and healthier life if we strive to keep our bad habits at a minimum. At Bayside Dental we want to do everything we can to keep our patients healthy for a long time. Give our Rowlett, TX, office a call or send us an email if you would like to schedule an appointment.