The term temporomandibular joint (TMJ) doesn’t usually ring a bell, yet it’s one of the most useful parts of our face. This section, where the jaw and skull connect, allows us to chew on our favorite snacks and speak to our peers. However, stress and excessive clenching can wear this joint out, causing a great deal of pain. Dentists have made it their mission to alleviate the discomfort patients have with TMJ disorder in Whittier, and they recommend avoiding gum, hard foods, jaw-clenching, nail-biting, and slouching.

Woman suffering pain TMJ Whittier

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum will help you have a minty breath and relieve your anxiety, but when you have TMJ disorder, it does more harm than good. Gum is detrimental to your teeth since it increases your chances of tooth decay, but it also forces your jaw to make repetitive, constant movements, straining the jaw joints and worsening your disorder.

If you chew gum to freshen your breath, try brushing your tongue and using mouthwash twice a day to replace this bad habit with a healthier one.

Biting Your Nails

Gum is not the only culprit behind overworking your temporomandibular joint since nail biting has similar effects. Healthy nails are hard surfaces, so when you chop them off, your teeth have to bite harder than when you chew conventional foods. Your jaw has to adopt unnatural postures when biting nails as well, which can also take the pain you feel from mild to excruciating.

Grinding Your Teeth

External factors like nails or gum can hinder the state of our jaw joints, but how much we grind our teeth can be equally damaging. Stress and sleep disorders can cause bruxism, a condition where patients force their upper and lower jaw against each other. This disorder damages the enamel in your teeth, exposing them to harmful bacteria, and puts increased pressure on your temporomandibular joint.

Wearing a mouthpiece when you sleep can prevent teeth from grinding and alleviate the effects of your TMJ disorder.

Eating Hard Foods

Hard foods are as harmful to your jaw joints as bruxism since they require a lot of chewing or excessive teeth force. Dental professionals recommend steering clear from tough or crunchy foods and large portions that will make you extend your jaw more than usual and aggravate your TMJ disorder.

Soft fruits and vegetables, cheese, yogurt, and pasta will be your allies to avoid the pain before visiting your dentist and finding a solution to your TMJ disorder.


Hard-to-chew foods can wreak havoc in the mouth of someone with TMJ disorder, and so can a lousy posture. Sitting in front of a desk or using your phone for hours can make you lean forward, releasing your spine from carrying your heavy head but forcing the muscles and joints in your face and neck to do it instead.

Make sure to sit down properly when working and take a walk many times a day to avoid slouching and aggravating your TMJ disorder.

Woman needs a procedure TMJ disorder Whittier

Do You Want to Treat Your TMJ Disorder in Whittier?

At Cataloochee Dental Group, we advise against adopting bad habits, such as chewing certain foods, biting your nails, slouching, and grinding your teeth. We are ready to take the pain away once and for all with several treatments.

Please book an appointment with us today to give your jaw joints a rest!