Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, CA
Your parents probably told you multiple times when you were younger to stand up straight or sit up straight. Guess what? There’s a good reason why posture is important, even if they may not have realized the underlying connection between posture and health. Having poor posture can make you more susceptible to developing temporomandibular joint disorder. Also known as TMJ disorder or TMD, this disorder often causes severe, debilitating pain in those who suffer from it.
TMJ disorder stems from a dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint itself, which connects your jaw to your skull. When the temporomandibular joint becomes problematic that issue spreads to the jaws themselves and the surrounding musculature and nerves, which results in chronic pain.
How can posture problems cause a case of TMD?
A problem in one part of the body can cause problems in other areas that may seem unrelated. If you routinely slouch or have poor posture, you are re-training your body to adjust negatively. Eventually, having poor posture causes a domino effect on your body, as the alignment problem in your spine can lead your lower jaw to protrude, causing a misalignment in your bite, which can be one of the major contributors to a case of TMJ disorder.
Relief is at hand
If your posture is contributing to TMD, then the posture problem needs to be resolved. To start, focus on standing and sitting straight, encouraging the re-alignment of your body, including your jaw. Correct posture, when standing, involves keeping shoulders back and chest forward, while not jutting the chin forward. Correct sitting posture means sitting with your buttocks touching the back of the chair with your weight distributed evenly on both hips. You should keep your knees at or above hip level when sitting, or use a footstool to elevate them to that height.
Bad posture also can be caused by foot problems such as flat arches, or by regularly wearing non-supportive footwear such as sandals or high heels. Wearing shoes with the proper comfort and support, or adding custom arch supports or insoles to your current shoes, will help encourage you to stand straighter.
Know the signs of TMD
Be aware of the symptoms of TMJ disorder.
Although these symptoms can vary widely from person to person, regularly experienced symptoms include the following:
- Severe pain, which may manifest in the jaws, neck, mouth, shoulders, or pack, or in the form of frequent headaches that feel like migraines
- Ringing or stuffiness in the ears
- Hearing a popping or clicking sound as your jaws open and close
- Limited range of motion in the jaws
Chronic Pain Relief in Agoura Hills
No matter what may be causing a case of TMJ disorder, the team of oral health professionals at Integrative Dental Arts can help. Our dentists practice neuromuscular dentistry in Agoura Hills, a specialization of dental science that focuses upon the alignment of the bite and jaws. No medical professional is better qualified to identify and treat TMD than a neuromuscular dentist. At Integrative Dental Arts, both of our dentists, Dr. Kathleen Carson and Dr. Cristina Markiewicz, have completed fellowships at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, considered the pre-eminent institution for post-graduate dental education in specializations such as neuromuscular dentistry. If you think you may be suffering from TMD, contact the office of Integrative Dental Arts at (818) 889-0400 to schedule a consultation.
Integrative Dental Arts serves the needs of patients in the areas of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village in California.