If you have pain in your jaw when you are chewing, opening and closing your mouth, or simply talking you may have Temporomandibular Joint disorder or TMJ. We typically refer to it simply as TMJ because let's face it, Temporomandibular Joint disorder is a mouthful; no pun intended.
The temporomandibular joint is the joint where your lower jaw meets your upper jaw. It is what allows you to open and close your mouth, move your jaw from side to side and move it forward and backward. When this joint is damaged it is painful and can cause other symptoms like headaches or ringing in your ears. So, the question you may have right now is what does your posture have to do with your aw?
Your Jaw and Your Posture
To understand how your posture can affect your jaw, you should note that all of your joints work best when what they have connected to work well also. You may remember the little song that says your shoulders connected to your hip is connected to your thigh bone, your thigh bones connected to your knee bone, etc. Well, your jawbone is no exception.
Poor posture puts stress on your spine. If you work on computers a lot you may find yourself hunched over due to the position of the computer in relation to your chair and the angle at which you can best see the screen. People with sedentary jobs tend to slouch in their office chair. Well, slouching and hunching over put a strain on your spine. It also causes your lower jaw to shift into a forward position. This position also makes your skull move into a different position. It causes your skull to move back into your spinal column.
This misalignment causes stress on your muscles, and other bones and joints. This is where your problems begin and if you continue to maintain these positions you effectively retrain your spine to maintain that position.
To conquer this issue, you have to improve your posture. Start with correcting your position when you stand by keeping your shoulders back and push your chest forward. Pay close attention to your jaw to ensure it isn't jutting forward. When you sit, maintain that position and ensure that your buttocks touch the back of your chair and your knees are at hip level or just above it. When you sit and work try to pay attention to your jaw's position and adjust yourself accordingly.
Make an appointment with us if you think you have TMJ. We can help.
ORAL SURGERY SPECIALISTS OF AUSTIN
Derrick Flint, MD, DDS | Matthew Largent, MD, DDS