Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMD) is a condition that affects more than 10 million Americans. The most common causes of TMD — including teeth grinding, teeth clenching and chronic stress — are well known. But there are also a few causes that may surprise you. In this blog post, North Dallas dentist Dr. Darian Hampton of the Hamptons Dental shares surprising causes and habits that may trigger or worsen TMD.
Poor posture does more than cause back and neck pain. Research shows frequent slouching and hunching over can affect jaw alignment. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, spinal stress caused by poor posture can aggravate the TMJ by shifting the lower jaw forward, leading to misalignment and possibly TMD.
Yet another reason to avoid using drugs: research shows the use of amphetamines like cocaine is linked to an increase in teeth clenching and grinding. This in turn can stress the muscles and ligaments controlling the TMJ as well as cause wear and tear on the teeth.
Upgrading to a larger size of your favorite meal can do more than cost you money and expand your waistline. Opening your mouth too wide to take a bite can aggravate your jaw muscles and ligaments, causing or aggravating TMJ pain. To avoid this, try cutting your food into smaller bites that are easier to chew.
Trauma to the head and jaw is a common cause of TMD that is often overlooked. In particular, rear-end car collisions can cause the head to be “whipped” backward and the lower jaw muscles to experience a large amount of pressure and pain. If you experience TMJ pain after a car accident, it’s best to have your symptoms checked by your doctor or dentist. Your physician may recommend X-rays in order to get a better understanding of the severity of your pain.
Contact The Hamptons Dental
If you are experiencing TMD symptoms, let Dr. Hampton help. The trusted dentist has helped countless North Dallas patients find relief from TMD. To learn about the treatment options Dr. Hampton offers, please contact us today.