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18555 N 79th Ave Suite A-103
Glendale, AZ 85308-8370

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Keeping Your Jaw From Hurting This Winter


Posted on 11/20/2016 by Dr. Michael Allard
A woman suffering from TMD jaw pain.
Like it or not, winter is on its way. And with winter comes cold weather. If you suffer from TMD, cold weather not only brings chills to your body, but pain in your jaw. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent your jaw from hurting when the cold weather inevitably arrives.

What is TMD?

TMD, or temporomandibular disorder, is the pain and inflammation of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is the hinge of your upper and lower jaws. It controls the opening and closing of your mouth as well as moving your jaw from side to side. It allows you to yawn, eat and speak. Problems with the joint affect your ability to do these things.

While the exact cause of TMD is unknown, it has been linked to problems such as facial trauma and bruxism (the clenching and/or grinding of your teeth), and has several other symptoms:

•  Facial pain.
•  Clicking and popping of the joint.
•  Your jaw may lock open.
•  Headaches/earaches.

TMD and the Cold

So, how exactly does the cold cause TMD to worsen? When you're cold, you shiver. You also tense your muscles and clench your jaw. All of these things can aggravate TMD symptoms, creating more severe pain.

What Can You Do?
Staying warm will stop you from shivering. Stay inside if you can. If you need to go outside, bundle up. Wear a warm jacket with a tall collar that covers your jaw. Wrap a scarf around your neck and face.

Stay active. It may be more difficult to exercise in the winter, but by staying physically active, you keep your muscles and joints loose and warm.

Surgery can also help. TMD can be uncomfortable all year long, it just worsens as the temperature drops. Oral surgery to fix your joint and jaw can rid you of the pain all together.

You can't stop the cold weather. Before winter comes, contact our office about what you can do to solve your TMD troubles.

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