Preventing TMJ Disorders: Tips and Strategies from Alexandra S. George DDS

Preventing TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders can impact our quality of life and, unfortunately, affect everything we do. From discomfort while talking and eating, to migraines and excessive tooth wear or loss, TMJ disorder can be serious for many people. 

Dr. Alexandra S. George DDS offers valuable insights into stress management, proper posture, dietary adjustments, and regular jaw exercises essential to TMJ disorder prevention.

“Preventing TMJ is important, but patients can slow, stop, or reverse the symptoms that impact their daily life,” Dr. Alexandra S. George DDS says. 

Understanding TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders arise from inflammation in one or both TMJ joints that facilitate jaw movement, leading to symptoms like jaw pain, difficulty in mouth opening or closing, headaches, and more. Factors contributing to these disorders include teeth grinding, jaw injury, misalignment, and stress.

TMJ disorder symptoms include:

  • Jaw locking, clicking, or popping
  • Being unable to open or close your mouth fully
  • Jaw and cheek soreness or pain
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Upper back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Your bite feels off
  • Tooth wear or loss
  • Grinding or clenching, especially during sleep
  • Pain when chewing 
  • Frequently biting your tongue or cheek
  • Ear pain
  • Off-balance or dizziness

Key Preventative Measures From Dr. Alexandra S. George DDS

Stress Management

“Stress significantly contributes to TMJ disorders,” says Dr. Alex. “When stressed, we frequently grind and clench our teeth without realizing it.” 

Identifying stress triggers and incorporating relaxation techniques and physical activity into one’s routine can mitigate these effects.

Proper Posture

“Maintaining proper posture reduces strain on the temporomandibular joint,” Dr. Alex says. Her tips include keeping the head balanced above the shoulders and using ergonomic adjustments at workstations to support back and neck posture.

Regular Jaw Exercises

“Specific exercises such as gentle jaw stretching, side-to-side movements, and chin tucks can strengthen jaw muscles and improve TMJ function,” she says. 

Additional Prevention Tips From Dr. Alex

  • Activities like yoga, meditation, and massage can help manage stress.
  • Using an oral appliance can help prevent clenching and grinding while sleeping.
  • Incorporating softer foods and reducing intake of hard or chewy items can alleviate strain on the TMJ.
  • Taking smaller bites and avoiding habits like nail-biting or chewing ice can prevent joint irritation.
  • Even while sleeping, good posture supports spinal alignment and reduces TMJ strain.
  • Massaging jaw muscles, applying heat or ice, and seeking dental advice for teeth grinding can offer relief.
  • Regular dental check-ups are essential for managing current symptoms and can help prevent further symptoms from developing.

Regular Dental Check-Ups for TMJ Disorders

Preventive care for TMJ disorders requires a holistic approach to wellness, emphasizing stress management, posture, dietary habits, and jaw exercises. By adopting these strategies, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of developing TMJ disorders and maintain optimal jaw health. 

Regular dental check-ups can help us see how your bite looks and if your teeth are becoming damaged. We can also recommend one of our specialized TMJ treatment options to create long-lasting changes for your TMJ symptoms

If you’re experiencing symptoms or want more personalized advice, consult TMJ specialist Dr. Alexandra S. George DDS. She has earned the LVI Fellow distinction, treating TMJD using a neuromuscular approach and advanced technology, and can provide targeted guidance and support. TMJ disorders can be treated and prevented, so book an appointment if you want to reduce your symptoms today. 

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on February 29th, 2024