When you suffer from TMJ disorder, you’re experiencing problems with your temporomandibular joints (or your jaw joints, which we refer to as your TMJs). Unfortunately, breaking the cycle of placing too much stress on your jaw joints can often become difficult because it’s so easy to do so unintentionally. The wonderful news is that you don’t need to become overly concerned about this. We will offer you some simple habits to avoid, which will give you a clearer perspective regarding good choices (and bad choices) as you do your best to protect your jaw health.
Don’t Engage In Extra Chewing Habits
You might not even notice you are asking your jaw to move excessively, which can make inflammation and strain worse. However, once you realize that skipping extra chewing habits is helpful, it will assist you in making better decisions throughout the day. Here’s what you should remember if you suffer from TMJ disorder:
- If you’re reaching for chewing gum, change your mind. Extra chewing is not helpful and can instead be damaging.
- Don’t give into habits that include nibbling mindlessly, such as on a pen.
- Do not choose snacks that require a lot of chewing, such as eating crushed ice.
Don’t Eat Stubborn Foods
When we stay “stubborn,” we mean anything that resists breaking down easily when you chew it. The resistance will cause you to work your jaw joints with extra force, which may then lead to strain, thereby contributing to (and worsening) your TMJ disorder. Here are some additional helpful tips:
- If the food is hard to bite into, cut it with a fork and knife or don’t eat it.
- If the food is exceptionally chewy, don’t eat it.
- If the food is very sticky and requires a lot of chewing, don’t eat it.