Do you have difficulty chewing?
Shaina Clemons Health Tips

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Difficulty Chewing?

Jaw Pain
  • Does it hurt to bite a tall sandwich?
  • Is it difficult or painful to chew hard foods like a granola bar, apples, and pretzels?
  • Does your jaw hurt to open and close OR make cracking noises if you open too far?

If these are sounding familiar to you…it could be due to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ.

The TMJ

The temporomandibular joint is your jawbone (the mandible) that attaches to the skull. It is very easy to feel it move- put your fingers on the back of your cheek, right in front of your earlobes. Now, open and close your mouth and you should be able to feel the joint moving!

Is it smooth or maybe you feel a pop?

If you felt any popping or clicking this could be due to a condition called TMJ. This is a condition in which the cartilage disk in the joint between the bones is no longer providing enough cushion between the bones.

This can often happen painlessly.

When the muscles around the jaw become irritated, they can become tender leading to jaw pain and headaches or weakness leading to an inability to fully chew tougher foods.

When this irritation stops you from eating the foods you like, or keeps you from social outings, it can be disruptive to your life… but there are steps you can take to get back to eating the foods you enjoy😊

  • Eat soft foods - One way to reduce the strain on the muscles is to eat softer foods including cooking your veggies a little longer or changing how you prepare them (i.e. mashing or cutting them smaller).
  • Use Heat or Ice on your Jaw - You can place a hot or cold pack on the outside of your jaw to relax the muscles. Check out our blog on which to choose!
  • Talk to a physical therapist - If you are suffering from jaw pain, you can get help! Reach out to a physical therapist. Jaw pain is often caused by angry, tight muscles. Let a therapist at Breakaway Physical Therapy see which ones are impacting you and create a plan to get you back to eating all your favorite foods right as soon as possible!
  • Not sure if PT is for you? Call us today at 410-721-6333 for a FREE consultation with a physical therapist to help you decide.

Brittany Gunter

Brittany Gunter

Brittany graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore with an emphasis on the pelvic floor. She attended Penn State for Kinesiology before that. I became interested in PT in college and also had a women's health course that opened my eyes to disparities in care and ultimately lead me to specializing in pelvic floor treatments. I’m Super excited to have joined the Breakaway team. My favorite part of PT is empowering patients by giving them the tools they need to get better and remain healthy/maintain wellness for the rest of their lives. In my free time I enjoy hiking, yoga/ Pilates, trivia, and traveling.
Brittany Gunter

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