Preventing Chronic TMJ: Tips for Reducing the Risk of Jaw Pain and Discomfort

Preventing Chronic TMJ: Tips for Reducing the Risk of Jaw Pain and Discomfort

Chronic TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, is an issue that affects the jaw joints and muscles, causing pain, discomfort, and other issues that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The exact cause of chronic TMJ is unknown, but it is believed to be linked to stress, posture, and jaw injuries. Many of the symptoms associated with TMJ can be painful and disruptive, impacting the way a person functions on a daily basis.

For those suffering from chronic TMJ, the most common symptom is jaw pain. This can be felt in the jaw joint, muscles, or teeth. The pain can range from mild to severe, and can be constant or come and go. Other symptoms may include difficulty chewing, a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing the mouth, and headaches. In some cases, TMJ can also lead to limited opening and/or locking of the jaw.

In addition to pain, TMJ can also have a negative effect on a person’s quality of life. Difficulty chewing can lead to difficulty enjoying meals, and may even lead to eating less nutritious foods. TMJ can also cause difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping due to the pain. Additionally, TMJ can lead to anxiety and depression, as the pain and other symptoms can take a toll on a person’s mental health.

The good news is that there are treatments available for chronic TMJ that can help improve quality of life. Chiropractic and exercise therapy is often recommended to help strengthen the muscles of the jaw and neck and improve posture. Other treatments may include stress reduction techniques, such as yoga or meditation, and medications to reduce pain and inflammation. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct structural issues with the jaw joint.

No matter what treatment is chosen, it is important to take steps to reduce the risk of TMJ pain becoming chronic. This includes avoiding activities that put strain on the jaw, such as chewing gum, eating hard foods, or clenching the teeth. It’s also important to practice good posture and take regular breaks from activities that place stress on the jaw.

Chronic TMJ can be a difficult condition to manage, but with the right treatment and lifestyle modifications, it is possible to improve quality of life. It’s important to speak to a healthcare professional to discuss the best treatment options for your particular situation.

TMJ disorder courtesy of Ascent Health & Sport Therapy (Read the caption)

Learn how tomanage TMJ pain with chiropractic

Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for TMJ that can help to reduce pain and improve quality of life. Despite common misconceptions, chiropractic care is not limited to the spine. Chiropractors are joint, muscle and nervous system experts, and therefore understand all mechanisms that may cause pain in the TMJ. Using their knowledge of the anatomy and biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint, they can assess a patient’s condition and develop an individualized treatment plan.

The main goal of chiropractic care is to reduce pain and increase jaw mobility. This is done through a combination of manual therapy and exercises. Manual therapy techniques involve gentle manipulation of the jaw and neck muscles to reduce tightness and increase range of motion. Exercises will be prescribed to further strengthen the jaw muscles and improve posture.

In addition to these treatments, a chiropractor may also recommend lifestyle modifications to reduce the risk of developing TMJ pain. These can include avoiding activities that put strain on the jaw, such as chewing gum, eating certain foods, or clenching the teeth. Posture exercises may also be recommended to correct any imbalances in the neck and jaw muscles.

Finally, a chiropractor can also help to reduce stress, which is thought to be a major contributor to TMJ disorders. They can provide relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and mindfulness, and provide manual care to release tension built up in musculature. 

For those suffering from chronic TMJ, chiropractic care can be an effective option to reduce pain and improve quality of life. Chiropractors are experts in musculoskeletal conditions and can provide individualized treatment plans to reduce pain, improve jaw mobility, and reduce stress. With the right treatment and lifestyle modifications, it is possible to manage chronic TMJ and improve quality of life.


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, TMJ can go away on its own in some cases. However, it is best to consult a doctor to ensure that proper treatment is received to avoid any further complications.

Common triggers for TMJ include stress, misalignment of the jaw, teeth grinding and clenching, arthritis, gum chewing, trauma, and genetics. 

It is best to avoid hard, chewy, and crunchy foods with TMJ pain, as they can put additional strain on the jaw. Foods such as nuts, hard candy, popcorn, and jerky should be avoided. Additionally, it is best to avoid any foods that require you to open your mouth widely, such as large sandwiches.

About Scott Fisher

ascent health sport therapy calgary ab physiotherapy scott

Dr. Fisher is a graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College with the distinction of Clinical Honors and Cum Laude. He has a background in Kinesiology and is further certified as a Medical Acupuncture Practitioner and an Active Release Techniques, Functional Range Conditioning and Graston Technique provider. 

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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