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Bad Habits That Cause Jaw Pain and How to Stop Doing Them

We all have habits in our life we know aren’t good for us, but when they begin to cause us actual pain, it’s time to do something about it. For those who suffer from untreated TMJ disorder, jaw pain is a regular part of life. Read on to learn about habits that can make the pain worse and cause more problems for your jaw. 

Using Your Teeth as Tools

You probably remember your mother scolding you as child for trying to open packaging or drinks with your teeth. Now that you’re an adult with no one around to get on to you for this bad habit, it can be easy to fall back into your childhood ways.

How to stop: Every time you think about using your teeth, repeat the mantra "Teeth are not tools" in your head. You’ll at least get yourself in the habit of thinking about it before you do it, which will help slowly create better habits over time.

Chewing or Biting Your Nails

Not only does chewing or biting your nails expose you to all kinds of bacteria and germs, but it also can harm your teeth and jaw. It's also pretty annoying to be around someone who is constantly cracking down on their nails.

How to stop: Nail biting is one of the hardest bad habits to break. There are many suggestions out there on how to quit. Covering your nails with a bitter polish that was created just to discourage nail biting is one of the most effective ways.

Chewing or Eating Ice 

Ice may be a low-calorie snack, but it’s terrible for your teeth and jaws. For some people, chewing ice can become an addiction. If you think this might be you, talk to your doctor about your concerns. If it’s simply a bad habit, try to find ways to break it.

How to stop: If you can’t avoid the temptation, try ordering and making drinks without ice for a while. This may help you get used to not absentmindedly crunching after finishing your drink.

If you’re experiencing jaw pain on a regular basis, you could be suffering from TMJ disorder. To find out more about this painful jaw condition, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Buck, call us today at 206-316-8286.

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