Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, can result from a variety of causes. If you are involved in a car accident or suffer another trauma to the face, it is easy to determine why these problems arose. However, if a more subtle cause is to blame, it might be more difficult to know what behavior you should alter. In fact, there are even some things that we do on a daily basis that could be contributing to our TMD symptoms, including headaches and jaw pain.
We all know that it is important to exercise regularly for optimal health, but exercise can be hard on the jaw joint. There are no other bones supporting the jaw bone from below, so when you engage in high intensity exercise, the soft tissues will bear a brunt of the force. This can result in TMJ pain.
Do you feel like having a cigarette after a long day at work is relaxing? Many people do, and some even think that it reduces their pain. However, a recent study showed that people who were daily smokers doubled their chances of living with chronic pain. Giving up your smoking habit could reduce your pain, including problems with your TMJ.
When you need a snack, do you reach for foods that are high in sugar? If so, these high amounts of sugar could increase inflammation in your joints. Additionally, harder treats like popcorn or chips can be difficult to chew, and this could also result in TMJ problems.
If you prefer to eat out rather than to cook your own meals, you could be raising your TMD risk. Certain additives like MSG can contribute to TMJ pain, as flavorings and other chemicals that are often found in restaurant and takeout foods can contribute to inflammation, including oils and salt.