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Does Cold Weather Lead To More Jaw Issues?

Posted on 1/11/2021 by Young Jun DDS MD FACS
Does Cold Weather Lead To More Jaw Issues?During the cold season, most people tend to feel sharp pains in their jaws and teeth. While this may seem normal to some, it could indicate an underlying condition that requires medical attention. Temporomandibular disorder, TMD, which affects the jaw joints, will mostly worsen during the cold weather, with patients experiencing increased pain and discomfort due to the extra strain on the jaw muscles.

Increased Pain

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) has a muscle that enables you to move your jaw either when yawning or opening your mouth to eat. During the cold weather, individuals tend to shiver and chatter their teeth as the body tries to generate heat in response to the cold. These movements can cause extra strain to the TMJ muscles and increase the pain from TMD. This pain occurs below the cheekbone, where the lower jaw connects to the skull.

Increased Discomfort Due To a Change In Pressure

With decreased temperature, the air pressure changes, causing an expansion of air pockets throughout the body. When the jaw area's air pockets expand, they tend to put pressure onto the nerves, causing discomfort around the jaw area. During winter, when the cold wind blows on an individual's face, the facial muscles tighten, causing muscle tension around the neck and jaw areas. This results in discomfort that worsens the TMD symptoms. While the cold weather remains inevitable, individuals with TMD should learn to cope by keeping warm both inside and outside, giving special attention to the jaw area. Also, by being physically active throughout the season, the muscles and joints will stay loose and strong, making them better prepared to handle the change in pressure and temperature during the cold weather. Contact us today for more information on how to manage jaw issues during the cold weather.

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