tooth painStudies have shown that 85% of TMJ disorder causes are environmental in nature, while only 15% are a result of genetic factors. This means that the things that you do every day could be contributing to your TMJ pain. By breaking some of these bad habits, you can help to ease your TMJ pain, as well.

Teeth Grinding

Do you clench your teeth when you are nervous or grind them while you’re asleep at night? Statistics have shown that one of the most common ways that people develop temporomandibular joint disorder is through grinding, and the main symptom is jaw pain and discomfort. A night guard can be a good way to protect the teeth and the TMJ from the effects of grinding.


A study completed in 2013 found that there was a significant relationship between females with TMJ pain and the use of cigarettes. Smokers had higher pain severity than nonsmokers, and they were also less likely to have success when undergoing TMJ treatment. Smokers should try and quit in order to improve their overall health, including TMJ pain.


There are certain foods that are harder on the TMJ than others, and many of them are snack foods that you should be limiting anyways. Foods that are sticky or chewy, such as candy bars and caramel apples, are especially problematic. However, really hard foods like apples or raw carrots an also be an issue for people who have severe TMJ pain.

Teeth as Tools

Your teeth aren’t designed to open that package of cookies or to twist off the top of a plastic soda bottle. The teeth can withstand vertical forces, but aren’t built to take on lateral forces, so using them for this purpose will put added stress on your TMJ. You’ll also be putting your teeth at risk of fracturing by continuing with this bad habit.

Please contact us if you have any questions about TMJ.