Stand Up Straight for Healthier TMJs

PostureIf you notice discomfort or pain in the muscles and joints of your jaw when you open your mouth, your TMJs may be to blame. TMJs (temporomandibular joints) are hinges which connect the temporal bone of your skull to your lower jaw (also known as your mandible). TMJs allow you to comfortably and smoothly talk, chew,  and yawn without pain. TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) is the chronic inflammation of these joints which can make daily living very uncomfortable. Des Moines dentist, Dr. Steve Burds, has helped many patients with TMJ problems. Surprisingly, posture is sometimes related to TMD.

TMJs and Posture

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) frequent headaches and lower jaw pain may go hand-in-hand with poor posture. Do you slouch or slump when you stand? If so, this action puts your spine in a position which stresses your jaw joints. When your posture is poor, your mandible shifts forward to accommodate the slouching of your body. Misalignment of the upper and lower arches of your teeth correlates with awkward backward movement of your skull on your spine. TMD is likely to follow. If you have a confirmed diagnosis of TMD, poor posture can make your discomfort flare up.

Stand Up Straight

Ludwig Leibsohn, DDS – spokesperson for the AGD – says that proper posture’s connection to your oral health is too often ignored. Oro-facial pain is quite common among people with poor posture. According to Dr. Leibsohn, standing incorrectly affects your facial muscle positioning. This causes a spiral downward which can affect your oral health with the development of bumps and grooves on your teeth from grinding, as well as severe bite misalignment which is both uncomfortable and bad for your teeth. Oral appliances from Dr. Burds can help realign your teeth and prevent further damage. Don’t underestimate the power of standing up straight, however. Posture may very well make a great preventive measure to avoid requiring any treatment for TMD in the first place.

TMJ Help from Des Moines Dentist

If you have jaw pain, you can contact our 50309 dental office by calling (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.