Are You Making It Worse? 3 Things to Avoid When You Have TMJ

TMJ Surgery Depending on whether or not you’re looking at the glass-half-full or half-empty, one of the benefits of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is that it has flare-ups which mean that you shouldn’t always have symptoms. By knowing what things can exacerbate your TMJ and make it worse, you can cut back on doing them so that you won’t have to deal with that chronic pain and discomfort. From stress to denial, this article will discuss three things that you should avoid when you have TMJ.


This is the hardest thing for most people to cut back on, yet it is one of the largest contributors to TMJ. When most patients who have TMJ start to feel stressed out, they clench their jaw which can cause pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort. If you live a particularly stressful life, you may suffer from more flare-ups than individuals who live a calmer lifestyle. Either way, when you start to feel stress coming on, try to release it in another way like through working out, using a stress ball, or finding another healthy outlet.

Hard-to-Chew Foods

Foods like gum, taffy, and steak are all considered to be hard-to-chew foods which can exacerbate your TMJ and contribute to a flare-up. To help reduce the likelihood of a flare-up altogether, try to avoid these foods at all costs. Instead of chewing gum, try mints. Instead of steak, choose chicken. By making these small dietary changes, you can live a more relaxed life.


Some people believe that if they don’t admit that they have an illness, it doesn’t exist. If you are in denial that you have TMJ and you aren’t taking the necessary precautions to avoid a flare-up, you are only going to make the condition worse. If you are still in that denial phase, leave it at the front door as soon as possible. By embracing the fact that you have this condition, you can make small changes towards living a pain-free life.

TMJ is a condition that causes your temporomandibular join to become inflamed and irritated— leaving patients with a locked, popping jaw, pain, and discomfort. If you feel a flare-up coming on, try to avoid the things listed above. To learn more about TMJ or treatment, contact Dr. Leslie H. Sultan today!

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