The Connection between Stress & TMJ Disorder

Stressed screaming lady

Many people battle with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder – or temporomandibular disorder (TMD) – without knowing the cause. Often, this is caused by stress and anxiety and leads to sleep bruxism. People who suffer from bruxism tend to grind and clench their teeth unknowingly.

Your stress levels may have gone up, especially now that the world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as you may find yourself thinking negatively and feeling on edge, it’s important to find ways to manage stress, as it can lead to developing further health complications.

Do You Have TMJ Disorder?

You might be suffering from TMJ/TMD without even knowing it. TMJ disorder affects most muscles in your body, specifically your face, head, neck, back, and shoulders. If you’re suffering from this condition, you may experience the following:

  •   Facial pains
  •   Headaches
  •   Jaw pain
  •   Sleep apnea
  •   Chipped or cracked teeth

Possible Treatment Options for TMJ

Luckily, TMD isn’t the end of your temporomandibular joint. Dr. Palmer’s health focused dentistry, often known as holistic dentistry, involves treatments to help realign your teeth and jaw muscles, taking strain off of your jaw joint due to stress. While there is no promise of a cure-all for your TMD – instead, the following options of her holistic approach to the condition and are known to be very beneficial:

1. Mouthguard

This is a device worn before sleeping to protect the teeth and jaw muscles from grinding and clenching. Although this isn’t a permanent cure, it can help relieve jaw pains and headaches, especially when you are mindlessly exerting pressure on our jaws at night.

2. Custom-Fit Orthotics

If your jaw joint is damaged, an orthotic is often recommended. It helps improve your bite and stabilizes your jaw joint to function properly. This can be done in addition to rebuilding your teeth.

3. Buteyko Breathing

You can do this one entirely on your own. This is a special form of breathing that can help relax your system effectively and efficiently, helping to lower all-around stress and reduce jaw-related pain. Dr. Palmer highly suggests this method of breathing to her TMJ/TMD patients. Click here for more information on this method. 

Take Control of Your TMJ

TMD pain can be excruciating and cause sleepless nights and more stress. And it can be quite frustrating when nothing seems to work. If you suspect you’re suffering from this condition or you’ve already been diagnosed with the disorder, please contact Dr. Palmer. 

The entire Health & Beauty dentistry team is playing their part in flattening the curve. While we’re currently only able to treat dental emergencies in-practice, we are here to support you in achieving the health & beauty you deserve, even from a distance. 

You can contact Dr. Palmer by phone at 250-768-3984 or online to schedule a consultation. Remember to stay safe and practice effective hygiene in these times.