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09-30-2011, 09:01 AM
  #317
Ollie Queen
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Actually, checking out Staal's jaw/teeth could be a very astute thing to do. I had problems with TMJ when I was in high school and it was largely because with the change to a faster, harder hitting game I started clenching my jaw before every impact, and got rocked with my head down a few times, and developed a habit of clenching my jaw when I was sleeping. It led to headaches and toothaches. Staal takes a lot of physical jarring normally, so could already have a mild tendency toward clenching his jaw and a hard hit like the one they believe caused all this could have aggravated the problem. Apparently it's pretty common in athletes that play contact sports. Because of the constant contact to the head, the natural response of gritting your teeth/biting down on your guard becomes a habit. You do it unconsciously when you're going to sleep, and you do it unconsciously when you start working out hard. Basically, whenever you're focused on something and don't realize you're doing it, you're likely doing it.

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