Is Stress Causing My TMJ Disorder?

Cartoon of a woman suffering from TMJ/TMD with cracking and popping noises coming from the joint.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

If chronic stress and anxiety are ignored, they can have serious consequences on your health. Believe it or not, stress can even have an impact on your oral health. This is because stress can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder and other oral health issues. Read on to learn more about stress-related TMD.

What Is TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joints are the joints that connect the skull to your lower jaw. They give your jawbone its range of motion to move up and down and side to side. You can feel them if you place your fingers under your earlobes and move your jaw around. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMJ or TMD, occurs when the joints are damaged or aren’t functioning properly.

The Link Between Stress & TMJ/TMD

Stress and anxiety are natural reactions that occur when your mind and body are put in strenuous situations. Unfortunately, the events of the past year have caused many people to feel more worried than usual. When dealing with stress over an extended period of time, you may start to experience some of the following symptoms.

  • Chronic Muscle Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent Headaches or Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Jaw Clenching
  • Teeth Grinding

These symptoms, especially jaw clenching and teeth grinding, can cause damage and excessive wear to the temporomandibular joints, leading to TMD.

TMJ/TMD Treatment Options

There are many ways to go about treating stress-related TMD. First, we recommend contacting your general physician to discuss the best course of action if you are experiencing chronic stress and anxiety. To treat your TMD, your dentist can provide you with jaw-relaxing exercises and massaging techniques to loosen up your temporomandibular joints. Our team at Hillstream Dental can also design a custom oral appliance that looks like a retainer to help reposition your jawbone and relieve pressure on your joints!

TMJ/TMD Help in Rochester Hills & St. Clair Shores

Suffering from stress-related TMD? Let our team at Hillstream Dental help. Your custom oral appliance will help your joints heal and limit further damage. Please contact either our Rochester Hills or St. Clair Shores office to schedule your TMD consultation!

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Hillstream Dental

Hillstream Dental