How Stress & Anxiety Can Induce TMJ Disorder

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The societal and economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 come with a lot of stress, which understandably can affect your overall health. This can easily lead to night grinding, which can induce a painful condition known as TMJ. Since COVID-19 declared a pandemic, we’ve had to adapt to a lot of sudden, unpredictable change and uncertainty about how things will look going forward. 

A very common symptom of stress, besides headache, is bruxism — a condition where you unconsciously grind and clench your teeth and jaw muscles while you sleep. This can not only make sleep less rejuvenating, but it can also develop into TMJ disorder over time.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a term used to describe various jaw problems. In simple terms, it’s the misalignment between the upper and lower jaw. When the upper and lower jaws are not properly aligned, it creates an uneven bite that can become painful and interfere with your daily life.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

The symptoms of TMJ disorder, as described by Dr. Deldar, include the following:

  •   Difficulty or pain while chewing or speaking
  •   Ache or ringing in your ear
  •   Pain or tenderness in your jaw
  •   Facial pain
  •   Headaches or migraines

Causes of TMJ Disorder

Dr. Deldar outlines that there are several reasons you may have developed TMJ disorder. Some of them are as follows:

  •   Frequent clenching and grinding of your teeth and jaw due to stress
  •   Injury to your temporomandibular joint from arthritis.
  •   Erosion or misalignment of your shock-absorbing disc. This disc separates the bones that interact with the joint.
  •   Certain diseases that affect your temporomandibular joint.
  •   Imbalanced bite

TMJ Treatment Options at Deldar Dental

While the symptoms of TMJ can be worrisome, there are potential treatments if you’re suffering from this condition. Your dentist in Noblesville, Dr. Deldar, may recommend one or more of the following treatments: 

1. Mouth guard 

A mouth guard is designed to fit over your unique teeth. When your jaw is closed while wearing it, the device simulates a well-aligned bite and also alleviates the impact of grinding your teeth at night. Depending on the severity of TMJ risk or symptoms, some patients must wear it more often. 

2. Braces

This is a long-term TMJ remedy in the form of braces. They help to reconfigure the structure of your bite, alleviating stress on your jaw and results in a beautiful smile. 

3. Jaw Stretching 

This is one you can do on your own, note to be please be gentle with your jaw joints. First, relax your jaw. Once it is relaxed, slide your jaw to the left and turn your head to look right to extend the stretch depth. Repeat on the right side. Next, after you have relaxed your jaw again, try opening your mouth as wide as possible within your comfort range. Hold it open for a few seconds then lightly close your jaw. Do this a few times through-out the day. 

Take Control of Your TMJ at Deldar Dental

At Deldar Dental, we are playing our part in flattening the curve by treating dental emergencies only. However, your health and improving your quality of life are of utmost importance to us. Whether you are in emergency dental pain or have other dental concerns, we are here to support you, even from a physical distance.  

Please reach out to Dr. Deldar by calling  317-208-0000 or online for solutions to stress-induced dental complications. 

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