TMJ Syndrome: What It Is and How to Prevent It

TMJ Syndrome (or Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome) is a broad term for any problem that prevents the jaw joint from being properly aligned. TMJ Syndrome includes symptoms like jaw and face pain, headaches or migraines, jaw clicking or popping, and even a locked jaw. Doesn’t sound too fun, right? Read on to learn how to prevent TMJ Syndrome.

What Causes TMJ Syndrome?lees summit dentist tmj

TMJ Syndrome can be caused by a variety of things, including injury, misalignment, grinding your teeth, poor posture, arthritis, stress, and chewing ice or gum.

How to Prevent TMJ Syndrome?

Based on the causes, you can see there are some tactics that can help you prevent TMJ Syndrome. Here are our top strategies.

  • Keep your dental appointments. Your dentist will be able to identify any signs of teeth grinding or any orthodontic issues that require treatment, hopefully before they start causing problems.
  • Avoid repetitive chewing habits. If you have occasional jaw pain, know that chewing gum, ice or any extended, repetitive chewing can lead to TMJ Syndrome. Similarly, you’ll want to avoid hard or chewy food, and avoid taking large bites while eating.
  • Focus on good posture, both while sitting and sleeping. Don’t cradle phones between your shoulder and neck, and make sure you’re using a pillow at night with good neck support.
  • Give your jaw a good massage. Not only does it feel good, but it can help loosen tight muscles that could trigger TMJ symptoms.

What to Do If You Suspect You Have TMJ Syndrome

If you have recurring or severe jaw pain, don’t hesitate to give your dentist a call. You shouldn’t suffer endlessly with TMJ symptoms that can be treated by your dentist. In the meantime, apply moist heat, and use the strategies above to lessen your discomfort.

TMJ Syndrome Treatment by Dr. Irwin

If you suspect you have TMJ Syndrome, Dr. Irwin can help. With more than 30 years of dentistry, Dr. Irwin has the knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat TMJ symptoms. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 816-347-9933.