Slouching can be Bad for Your Jaw

If your jaw is sore, you may be at risk of developing temporomandibular disorder or what is better known as TMD.

This signals that there could be a problem with your TMJ or temporomandibular joint, the joint at the side of your jaw. TMD causes pain and swelling in your jaw and can lead to head aches, face clicking and popping when you eat, and pain in your lower face when lying down, which can cause sleepless nights.

Seven possible causes of TMD:

– chewing gum or nibbling on pencils or your fingernails

– holding your phone with check/ear and shoulder

-resting your chin in the palm of your hand at your desk

-slouching posture

-eating hard candy

-trying to suppress a yawn or too wide

– grinding your teeth

TMD can be made worse by repetitive movements that cause the joint to become swollen and sore. Often people will chew gum, nibble on their nails or grind their teeth when they are stressed, often without realizing it. Try not to sleep on your stomach or with your face squished into your pillow. This can put a lot of strain on your jaw.


Who would have thought that these seeming innocent habits can cause so much pain? Some people chew gum, slouch, and rest there chin on their hands and have no ill affect. However, if you have clicking and/or headaches maybe altering the possible causes can these symptoms to subside.

If It Still Hurts:

Talk to your health care team. Your dentist and doctor will be able to examine you, take x-rays and run other tests to determine exactly what is making your jaw sore. They can suggest specific exercises to help you loosen and strengthen your jaw muscles, prescribe anti-inflammatory or pain medications, or fit you for a night guard to wear at night to prevent grinding your teeth.