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How Posture Impacts Your Jaw Placement

Posted on 1/27/2017 by Tessa Smith-Greisch
A woman suffering from severe TMD jaw pain.
Jaw pain can be extremely disruptive. Suddenly normal, everyday functions like eating and speaking become almost impossible. Jaw pain is usually an indication of temporomandibular disorder. This issue has many different causes, and can often be difficult to pinpoint. But it can also be caused simply by the way you stand.

What is TMD?

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge connecting your upper and lower jaws. Pain in this joint, known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can trigger jaw pain as well as pain throughout the rest of your head. Typical causes of TMD include bruxism, osteoarthritis, or trauma.

Symptoms include:

•  Facial pain.
•  Difficulty or pain when opening your mouth or chewing.
•  Clicking or popping while chewing.
•  Headaches and/or earaches.

If you have ruled out all of the usual causes of TMD and yet you are still experiencing the symptoms, it may be time to evaluate your posture.

How Can Bad Posture Affect Your Jaw?
Sitting or standing with your shoulders slumped and your back hunched does more than cause you back pain. This poor position can also force your lower jaw forward, throwing off your bite. And a misaligned bite is one of the leading causes of TMD.

How Can You Fix It?
The key to solving TMD problems brought on by poor posture is simple: fix your posture. Sitting or standing straight takes the pressure off your lower jaw, allowing it to sit naturally, rather than forward. Make sure when you are sitting, that your knees are at a 90-degree angle or that they are above your hip level, which takes stress off your back.

Poor posture can also be the result of foot problems. Having custom fit arches in your shoes, or avoiding heels can aid in giving you a better posture, relieving pressure from both your back and your TMJ.

If you are suffering from jaw pain, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Together, you will be able to find the cause of your TMD and start treatment, giving you back your life.



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Madison, WI 53719 MAP
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