TMJ Disorder


A photo of me while in high school sporting ceramic braces. Yikes!

When I was in junior high and high school I had braces. Four long years …
While wearing braces I developed TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder.
Occasionally in the past 20 or so years it flares up. I can yawn and my jaw will pop. Or trying to tackle too big of a burger can cause discomfort.
There are jaw exercises I can do to ease the pain and discomfort.
My TMJ can also flare up when I am stressed or emotional.
It flared up again on Monday. It’s been an emotional and sad time lately.
My jaw pain gets a little less painful each day. But it is still lingering.
Wow, who knew there was a TMJ support group online? Many admit that stress can cause the TMJ symptoms to be triggered.
The resistance training jaw exercise eases a lot of my pain and discomfort. That’s the one I normally work on with my jaw. I am also occasionally taking Aleve.
I wondered if my TMJ is a cause of the jaw/tooth pressure I get sometimes when I am flying.
Dear Doctor doesn’t mention a connection between the two.
But I found another article that briefly mentions it. Community Health Training says one of the symptoms of TMJ Disorder isĀ ear fullness and pain during airplane takeoffs and landings.
The article also mentions how TMJ Disorders are caused. I fall into a few of them:

  • Habitual gum chewing and nail biting. I chew gum very regularly. I used to bite my nails when I was younger.
  • Dental problems and misalignment of the teeth (malocclusion). A few reasons I needed braces were because my mouth was too small (ha ha!) and my teeth were off centered, which made my teeth misalign when I bit down.
  • Stress (Who doesn’t experience that?)

There are other symptoms listed as well. Click on the Clinical Health Training link above to read more. The article gives an explanation of what TMJ Disorder is; what TMJ Disorders are and how they are caused; common symptoms; and ways to treat.