Does Talking Too Much Cause TMD?

Businesspeople arguing in meeting

One of the most common questions we get asked is whether or not talking can make TMJ pain worse. This is a complicated question to answer, only because each person has unique TMJ triggers. Previously we discussed if chewing gum can make TMJ worse; now let’s take a look at the connection between talking and TMJ.

What Happens to the Jaw When We Talk

Talking is an act that is exclusively human. Our ability to communicate with one another through speech involves a complex system of thought, emotion and physicality. It’s the latter that can get TMD sufferers hung up. Our brains string together words, but our lungs, muscles, joints and tendons are what create the sounds and tones to form those words.

Most of this work happens around the jaw. The physical acting of talking begins in the lungs with air that works its way up the larynx and out through the lips. Between the larynx and the lips there’s a fair amount of movement in the jaw. After all, if you don’t open your mouth there’s no way for the words to come out.

The tongue also works overtime to help form words. Because the tongue is connected to the lower jaw this creates a lot of additional movement around the joints in addition to opening and closing the mouth. Then there are the lips. The lips are also needed to help shape sounds. A number of moving parts are needed to make that possible, including the jaw muscles and the temporomandibular joints.

The jaw muscles even have an affect on the larynx, also known as the voice box. When the jaw muscles are tight and constricted the larynx can’t operate properly. Some singers have even noted that relaxing their jaw muscles is more important than opening their mouths.

Conclusion: Excessive Talking Can Cause TMJ Pain

Talking is the most complex motor skill that humans possess. There’s no way around the jaw when you talk. It’s not uncommon for people with TMJ to have flare ups after talking because the temporomandibular joints and surrounding muscles are working with every word. Some patients have even reported having difficulty forming words because of TMJ.

When we talk excessively the facial, throat and jaw muscles can become overworked. This leads to fatigue, discomfort and pain. Everyone has different thresholds for how much movement their joints and muscles can take. It’s important to know what is excessive for you. For some people short conversations throughout the day are enough to generate pain by the afternoon. For others pain doesn’t manifest unless they have a long conversation in one sitting.

If talking has become painful, it’s time to see a dentist that treats TMJ disorders. Residents in the Houston area turn to MedCenter TMJ for thorough diagnostics and custom TMJ treatment plans that include non-invasive solutions. Call us today to discuss your needs and schedule an appointment.

Original Source:

Scroll to Top