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How is TMD Connected to Mood Disorders and Stress: It’s Time to Consult Your Dentist

What is TMJ Disorder?

Temporomandibular disorder is also known as TMJ which denotes the different conditions that affect the facial nerves, jaw muscles and TM joints. TMJ affects a large part of the adult population. TMJ can happen when your jaw twists while opening, closing and side-motion movements which are mainly caused by the jaw joint being unhealthy which can lead to difficulty in the closing and opening of your mouth. Here are some symptoms of TMJ:


● Unnecessarily sensitive teeth when you have no dental problems

● Popping or clicking sounds when you open your mouth

● Struggle with opening and closing your mouth

● Have jaw pain when yawning, biting or chewing

● If your jaw pain is a lot more potent in the morning and late afternoon

● If your jaw muscles and jaw are tender all the time

● If you are experiencing pain in or around your ear

TMJ is likely to affect twice as many men than women (particularly women who are of child bearing age). TMJ is also the most widespread type of non-dental related chronic facial pain. The main causes of TMJ are due to an injury or dislocated jaw, misaligned bite and arthritis.

The Connection Between TMJ, Mood Disorders and Stress

TMJ, mood disorders and stress are all linked as they have similar symptoms. If you happen to be experiencing any of these 3 then it is important to understand the connection that exists between them.

TMJ

Our jaw joint is one of the most complicated body parts in our body and can easily become misaligned, causing the muscles to spasm and leading to nerve pain. The symptoms of TMJ can vary from person-to-person as it requires the TMJ treatment to be customized according to each individual person. Having tense muscles and constantly clenching your jaw can lead also lead to TMJ.

Mood Disorders

Everyone experiences anxiety from time-to-time but prolonged anxiety can affect your day-to-day life as well. Patients who suffer from anxiety tend to experience a lot of different types of mood disorders which can vary from person-to-person as anxiety can be both the symptom or the cause of mood disorders.

Stress

Stress affects everyone, our bodies are naturally adapted to handle small amounts of stress but constant stress over a prolonged time period can be harmful to your health. The symptoms of stress usually lead to TMJ.

How Stress can Elevate TMJ and Make It Worse

Our bodies are designed to handle small amounts of stress over time but prolonged stress has a negative effect on your body, especially when you have TMJ. Stress makes your muscles become tense and sore but having TMJ ensures that your body is already suffering from this, which only makes the soreness and stiffness get worse which can also affect your jaw joint.

This can trap you in a vicious cycle by making your migraines and TMJ worse whenever you get stressed, leading to the same pain recurring over and over again.

How Can You Control Your Situation and Prevent Stress and TMD?

Stress inevitably leads to the grinding of the teeth, which can be particularly harmful at night as it is done unconsciously which will lead to the premature wear and tear of your teeth and fillings as well as leading to fractured teeth.

To avoid this, you may be prescribed an occlusal splint or a night guard that covers the biting surface of your teeth and prevents you from unconsciously damaging your teeth again. Protect your smile and general dentistry with your occlusal splint.

It is important that you visit your dentist for a complete diagnosis to ensure that the occlusal splint/night guards are custom-made to fit your teeth perfectly as well as preventing your teeth from feeling any excessive pressure.

Author Bio: A dental marketer at Michael G. Long DDS, Fresno, CA and a believer in holistic health, Grace Clark lives by the rule that health and happiness go hand in hand. She writes on various dental topics focusing on healthy living and holistic health. When she’s not working or blogging, she enjoys spending her time with her family and volunteering at the local youth centers where she educates children about the importance of health and fitness.

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