If you are experiencing jaw joint pain, or possible TMJ disorder, stress is the most common contributing factors that seems to aggravate the condition.
The jaw joint is comprised of a very sophisticated network of muscles, cartilage, and ligaments. It is responsible for your ability to chew, speak, and even smile. The joint, known as the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), is also prone to various disorders or various levels of dysfunction. The symptoms of TMJ disorder can range from mildly uncomfortable to severely debilitating, and often requires the expertise of a TMJ specialist in order to find relief.
TMJ Disorder can sometimes be a mysterious condition since determining the exact cause can be complicated. However, there are certain contributing factors that seem to aggravate the condition, the most common being stress.
Will TMJ Disorder Get Worse with Stress?
Certain contributing factors seem to aggravate the condition, the most common being stress.
As a natural human response to stress, most of us tend to clench or grit our teeth when the level of intensity increases in our lives. Unfortunately, our bodies sometimes react to anxiety without knowledge or control. What’s more, the tension can come in all shapes or forms, from strong concentration at work to pushing the limits at the gym. It can even be emotional in nature, as something that lingers in your mind even as you sleep.
Since stress isn’t necessarily something that you can see or hold in your hand, you may not recognize how deeply it affects you until a worsening TMJ condition challenges you. The muscles of the face and jaw may begin to tighten. You may wake to find that you’ve been clenching or gritting your teeth all night, or intense headaches may derail you. Some patients might notice that they are experiencing more chipped teeth, broken fillings, and sensitivity.
All of these symptoms can indicate that the stress in your life has manifested in your jaw joint. The joint is working overtime, taxing the muscles, the teeth, and even the gums. Managing the pressure in your life may take some time, but there are ways to protect your joints, teeth, and muscles in the meantime.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Larry Wolford’s office using our online contact form or call 214-828-9115.