Stress And TMJ Disorder

Do you tend to grit your teeth when the going gets tough? Did you clench your teeth together as you waited for the 2016 Election results? Do you find yourself tensing up your jaw muscles when you’re worrying about something? Unfortunately, this seemingly benign response to anxiety, nervousness, or general stress can become extremely detrimental to your jaw health. Let’s do a bit of exploration regarding how stress affects TMJ disorder and what you can do about it.

Tissues Are Already Stressed
When your TMJs (temporomandibular joints or jaw joints) are not functioning the right way, you suffer from TMJ disorder. As this occurs, your entire oral system begins compensating to allow you to open your mouth, chew, speak, and more. The result is stressed tissues that are being used and moved in unusual ways. The result tends to include discomfort, muscle fatigue, strange sensations, and more. You may not be surprised to learn that adding any more tension or stress to these tissues (your jaw joints, ligaments, muscles, and more) can have serious negative side effects.

About Your Daily Stress
When you don’t manage your stress, you may have a tendency to tense your muscles, bite your teeth together, or grind your teeth. Unfortunately, this will make TMJ disorder worse instead of better. As a result, we always suggest addressing any stress you may have in your life, even if it’s seemingly positive! For instance, perhaps you’re learning to play a new instrument but you clench your teeth as you concentrate and play. It’s extremely important that you learn to relax your jaw and your muscles as consistently as possible. Do what works for you to handle your stress, so you give your TMJs a chance to heal.

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at the Comfort Dental Group, then contact us today by calling our office at (248) 474-6434. We welcome patients living in and around Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Northville, Westland, and Dearborn Heights, MI.


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