There are a few things you can do to try to lower your risk of getting TMD. These are:

Lower Stress in Your Life

Stress and anxiety can lead to habits (such as jaw clenching, tooth grinding, nail biting, gum chewing) that can lead to TMD. Learn ways to ease stress, so that you will not use these habits.

Do Not Clench Your Jaw and Grind Your Teeth

These habits can raise your risk of TMD. Learn other ways to cope with stress. You may also want to talk to your dentist about wearing a nightguard to stop you from harming your teeth.

Do Not Chew Gum Too Often

Gum chewing may make you more likely to get TMD by over-exercising your jaw joint.

Protect Yourself from Harm

Make sure you take steps to avoid harming your jaw. Injuries raise the risk of getting TMD. Wear mouth guards for contact sports, helmets for riding sports, and always wear your seatbelt when in a vehicle. Adults should ride in cars that have airbags.


Temporomandibular disorders. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website. Available at: Accessed July 29, 2019.

Temporomandibular disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated February 20, 2018. Accessed July 29, 2019.

Temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) pain. ENThealth—American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: Updated January 2019. Accessed July 29, 2019.

TMJ. Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association website. Available at: Accessed July 29, 2019.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: Accessed July 29, 2019.

Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 10/18/2019