TMJ, also known as the temporomandibular joint, is the joint that connects your jaw to your head. The joints are located on either side of the head, just in front of the ear. The TMJ is the most complex and used joint in the human body.
TMD refers to a number of temporomandibular joint disorders that cause pain and discomfort in the lower jaw. TMD can be caused by many different factors, but one not-so-well-known cause is your posture.
Jaw pain? Straighten up.
How Your Posture Affects Your TMJ
According to the Academy of General Dentistry your posture has a direct connection to chronic jaw pain of the TMJ. When you slouch or otherwise exhibit poor posture the spine unavoidably places undue pressure on the joints of your jaw. When you slouch your lower jaw inevitably moves forward.
When the lower jaw is pushed forward the result is that the upper and lower bite no longer fitting together properly and the skull is pushed back into the spinal column.
This poor posture puts excessive stress on the joints, muscles and even bone of the jaw and skull and if left unchecked will result in inflammation and chronic pain. Not everyone is aware of how posture affects your health and certainly not everyone is aware that slouching can lead to TMJ problems. When your posture is unbalanced or misaligned it causes the muscles of the face to distort which further places strain on the TMJ.
If you are experiencing chronic pain of the TMJ you should first address your posture to ensure that it is not contributing to your discomfort. From there you should consult with your dental provider to determine whether or not you have TMD and what you can do to help manage the pain and discomfort.
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About Us Dr. Michael Allard has been delivering outstanding care in oral and maxillofacial surgery here in Arizona since 2000. As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Glendale, AZ, Dr. Allard manages a wide variety of problems relating to the mouth, teeth and facial regions.