How Stress Makes Your TMJ Disorder Even Worse

July 21, 2017

Stress can be helpful, as it can make you work harder and achieve more. But as a whole, stress is harmful to your body. It can depress your immune system, increase your blood pressure, and so on.

But stress is also bad for your mouth. If you have stiffness or pain in your jaw joints (also known as TMJ), then you might have a condition called TMJ disorder. Untreated, this can lead to lockjaw and debilitating migraines. And stress is just going to make things worse.

That’s why you need to call our Roseville, CA dental office today at 916-945-9985 and schedule your appointment for TMJ treatment. Dr. Miller is your Roseville dentist who holds advanced standing with four major TMJ organizations, something very few dentists have anywhere. That makes him uniquely suited for helping relieve the pain brought on by stress and TMJ disorder.

Don’t Ignore That TMJ Pain

TMJ is short for “temporomandibular joints”. These are the two joints on either side of your face that control your jaw. You depend on your TMJ to let you eat, drink, talk, and even breathe because they control when and how your mouth opens. In other words, your TMJ are very important.

That’s why it can be a real problem is your TMJ get overworked and sore. Then you can start to see other problems such as these:

  • Tinnitus and earaches
  • Clicking or popping noises when you chew
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Jaw stiffness and discomfort

Bruxism & Migraines

Often, these problems start small and build slowly, so it’s easy to ignore them at first. However, there are two more problems that tend to follow untreated TMJ disorder: bruxism and migraines.

Bruxism is the technical name for grinding your teeth unconsciously. This is a problem for two reasons. First, that grinding wears down the enamel on your teeth, creating weak spots where cavities and damage are more likely. Second, it also puts extra stress on your TMJ. This can make your TMJ problems worse.

People who suffer from TMJ disorder often have strong migraines. Again, they start out small, probably as small headaches from time to time. As your TMJ problems grow worse, so do those headaches, until they turn into migraines.

Stress Leads To A Painful Cycle

How can stress make all of this even worse? By setting up a cycle that can spiral out of control.

  • Your TMJ gets sore, and you start having problems with your jaw joints.
  • The pain gets worse, which stresses you out.
  • The stress makes you grind your teeth and tense up your jaw joint muscles when they should be resting and healing.
  • This makes your TMJ problems worse, and the pain begins to spread.
  • That makes you even more stressed, which makes you grind and tense up.

TMJ Treatment To Break That Cycle

That cycle is why you need TMJ treatment from our Roseville dentist. Dr. Miller has several ways to help you break that cycle and get back to eating, chewing, and so on without discomfort.

One common treatment is the dental splint. This is a small device you wear over your teeth as you sleep. It adjusts your jaw just enough to take some stress off of it, even if you are dealing with bruxism. This can give your TMJ time to heal naturally.

For some people, prescription anti-inflammatories can help your TMJ muscles finally relax. As with a dental splint, this can let your TMJ have the rest they need to heal. Physical therapy and orthodontics can both help as well since they can sooth the muscles as well as adjust how your teeth come together when you bite.

Call Advanced Dental Concepts today at 916-945-9985 or use our convenient online form to schedule your initial appointment for TMJ treatment. Our Roseville dentist can help your TMJ heal so you can avoid having migraines, lockjaw, and more.

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