TMJ Disorders and its links with Stress

If you don’t eat many steaks but still have pain on either side of your head where your jawbone meets the skull, you may have a TMJ disorder. Our dentists at Salt Lake Dental in Salt Lake City, UT want to help you get back to your normal way of life.

Before making an appointment, here are some things you should know about TMJ, as well as some treatments that might help (hint: reducing stress in your life is a huge factor.

TMJ is a type of jaw joint

As you can see, TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, where the bone in your jaw meets the bone in your skull. This joint lets you eat, talk, yawn, sing, and more. If you have severe pain in this area, you may have a TMJ disorder. Some other symptoms of the disorder are jaw pain and tenderness, jaw locking; headaches; pain in your face; difficulty chewing; and even a clicking sound when you open your mouth. These are all signs of the disorder.

Because this joint can move in many different ways and is used all the time, it is one of the more complicated joints in the body. The joint comprises muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones. Many things can go wrong, such as cartilage damage, a disc out of alignment, trauma from a head injury, and strain from teeth grinding.

TMJ disorder is caused by what?

As soon as you come to Salt Lake Dental, our dentists will do a full dental checkup, and any tests needed. They'll also look at your jaw to see if it hurts. If the cause is clear, like a problem with cartilage, they will start treatment right away and work to get it better.

Often, though, there isn't one clear physical reason for your pain. Much stress can make it easier for you to clench your jaw unconsciously all day long or grind your teeth while you sleep. When you do things like this, your jaw can be put under a lot of strain and pressure, which can eventually move it out of place. Too much stress on your jaw can even cause lockjaw, which is when muscle spasms make it hard to open your mouth very wide.

Treating TMJ disorder caused by stress

As long as your TMJ disorder is caused by stress, there are many things you can do to help it go away. People who do clenching and grinding should stop doing this habit. You should avoid hard or sticky foods and massage your jaw and face to help. During the night, your doctor can also give you a nightguard to help you not grind your teeth while you sleep.

Think about how to lessen the stress in your life. Find out what makes you stressed, whether you need to change your lifestyle or see a counselor about dealing with things in your life.

Hope this blog gave you a better understanding regarding stress and its relationship with TMJ Disorders. Call Saltlake Dental to get the best TMJ and TMD treatment in Salt Lake City, UT.