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Can Stress Cause TMJ Disorder?

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is a pair of joints that connects the mandible or lower jaw to the skull. So, every time you chew, sing, talk, or yawn, you’re using your TMJs.

Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD can be caused by many things, such as arthritis, wear and tear, improper bite, and trauma. Going back to the question above, can stress cause TMJ disorder? The simplest answer is yes. The TMD symptoms include chewing difficulty, facial pain, earaches, headaches, and jaw tenderness or locking. You may also notice a clicking sound when you open your mouth.

How Does Stress Cause TMD?

According to experts, when people are under high levels of stress, they may unconsciously grind their teeth in their sleep or clench their jaw throughout the day—known as bruxism. These actions can add strain and pressure to their teeth, jaw muscles, and supporting ligaments, which can contribute to the development of TMD.

How Can You Prevent or Treat Stress-Induced TMJ Disorder?

There are plenty of things you can do to prevent or treat a TMJ disorder that is caused by stress or teeth grinding and clenching. Here are some of them:

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine as teeth grinding tends to intensify after consuming them.

  • Reduce your stress, and lower your risk of teeth clenching and grinding by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising, meditating, or doing yoga.

  • If you’re already experiencing TMJ disorder, try to eat soft foods instead of chewy, crunchy, hard, sticky, and tough edibles.

  • Use a night guard to prevent damage from teeth grinding.

  • Massage your jaw and facial area.

  • See a counselor.

  • Set up an appointment with your doctor.

Contact The Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea Today!

If you have TMJ disorder or are experiencing its symptoms, don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea immediately. Our doctors have undergone advanced training in treating a temporomandibular joint disorder, craniofacial pain, headaches or migraines, sleep apnea, and sleep-disordered breathing.

Our doctors are also committed to providing you with the best care possible. So, expect they’ll do their best to help you with your needs. Call us now to set up an appointment or schedule a consultation.

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