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Reducing Your Risk of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Reducing Your Risk of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

Some things that may help reduce the risk of TMD are:

Lowering Stress

Stress and anxiety can lead to habits such as jaw clenching, tooth grinding, nail biting, and gum chewing. These habits can lead to TMD. Learning ways to ease stress, can help reduce these habits.

Not Clenching the Jaw and Grinding Teeth

These habits can raise the risk of TMD. Finding ways to cope with stress can help. A device can also be worn over the teeth to prevent teeth damage. The dentist can have the device made.

Not Chewing Gum Too Often

Gum chewing may increase the risk of TMD. This is because it over-exercises the jaw joint.

Avoiding Harm to the Jaw

Injuries raise the risk of getting TMD. Protecting the jaw can reduce this risk. People playing contact sports should wear mouth guards. Those involved in riding sports should wear helmets. And everyone should wear a seatbelt when in a vehicle. Adults should also ride in cars that have airbags.


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  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.