5 Common Causes of TMJ Flare-Ups

Tmj Dentist Round Rock, TX

For many patients with a TMJ disorder, the issue tends to come and go, presenting as a flare-up that gradually subsides in a few days. People with more severe cases and persistent pain or swelling may need professional treatment to maintain jaw function and a better quality of life. Home treatments and remedies can be used to relieve mild to moderate pain while certain preventative measures can help reduce the number and frequency of these flare-ups.

Understanding TMJ disorder

The temporomandibular joint is located just in front of each ear and allows the jaw to open and close. When persistent pain, swelling, stiffness, or popping occur, a patient may be diagnosed with a TMJ disorder. Various reasons a person may develop this condition include:

  • Improper joint formation or growth
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Trauma to the jaw or surrounding area
  • Problems with arthritis
  • Habitual bruxism, or clenching and grinding of teeth

An evaluation by a dental professional is required for an accurate diagnosis.

Causes of TMJ flare-ups

While there are several reasons a patient can experience sudden or severe jaw pain, inflammation and overworked muscles tend to be the most common causes of TMJ flare-ups. Many physical changes and lifestyle habits can contribute to swelling around the joint and muscle tension.

1. Stress

The negative impact of stress on the body is a serious issue in today's society. When a person experiences a stressful situation, the natural physical responses can result in TMJ problems. Increased muscle tension, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and head can lead to the painful swelling of this joint. Clenching or grinding teeth and lack of sleep, which are common side effects of increased stress levels, can also make matters worse.

2. Poor posture

Improper alignment can cause headaches, back pain, and, in some cases, TMJ pain. If a person has bad posture, this can lead to a misaligned spine and a protruding jaw. Those who spend much of their day sitting, especially in a car or at a computer, are more prone to posture and alignment issues.

3. Eating habits

Those with a TMJ disorder should avoid eating too many tough, hard, or chewy foods. The pressure and muscle fatigue caused by excessive chewing and exaggerated movements can lead to painful flare-ups. Patients should stick to a diet of softer foods, take smaller bites, and avoid chewing gum to prevent symptoms from worsening.

4. Hormonal changes

A sudden increase or decrease in hormone levels can lead to joint inflammation. This includes the jaw, so patients who experience hormonal changes may notice pain and swelling in this area. This is particularly true for women, who experience estrogen and progesterone fluctuations throughout adulthood.

5. Dehydration

All joints and muscles of the body need sufficient hydration to maintain necessary lubrication and function. If a person is not drinking enough water, pain and inflammation of the joints and muscles, including the temporomandibular joint, can occur.

Conclusion

While a TMJ disorder can develop for any number of reasons, many everyday occurrences can lead to sudden flare-ups. By understanding the most common causes of symptom outbreaks, patients can take preventative measures to help keep pain and inflammation at bay.

Request an appointment here: https://adcroundrock.com or call Round Rock Dental Office at (512) 720-5868 for an appointment in our Round Rock office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Round Rock, TX.

Recent Posts

How Swimming Affects Your Teeth

Summer is the season of pool parties and waterparks! But did you know that chlorine can be tough on your teeth? Let's talk about how swimming affects your teeth and how you can protect your dental health.It’s important to know how swimming affects your teeth so that you can keep your smile healthy and bright…

3 Healthy Summer Snack Ideas

Too often, snacking gets a bad reputation because of popular junk food snacks. But did you know that snacking can be good for you? It’s all about keeping it fresh, healthy, and nutritious. Read on for 5 healthy summer snack ideas to get your snack fix without compromising your dental health.When you think of popcorn,…

5 Ways To Stop Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is more than just a nuisance. Because saliva is how your body naturally remineralizes and protects your teeth, dry mouth can negatively impact your dental health when it's left untreated. Here are 5 ways to stop dry mouth to help keep your teeth and gums healthy and comfortable.Drinking lots of fluids is one…

3 Calming Dental Products

Dental care doesn't have to be a chore, it can be a relaxing experience. Read on for 3 calming dental products to elevate your dental care routine from something you simply check off your list to something you look forward to each day.Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash should be an important part of your daily…

Recent Posts

How Swimming Affects Your Teeth

How Swimming Affects Your Teeth

Summer is the season of pool parties and waterparks! But did you know that chlorine can be tough on your teeth? Let's talk about how swimming affects your teeth and how you can protect your dental health.It’s important to know how swimming affects your teeth so that you can keep your smile healthy and bright…

Healthy Summer Snack Ideas

3 Healthy Summer Snack Ideas

Too often, snacking gets a bad reputation because of popular junk food snacks. But did you know that snacking can be good for you? It’s all about keeping it fresh, healthy, and nutritious. Read on for 5 healthy summer snack ideas to get your snack fix without compromising your dental health.When you think of popcorn,…