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How Stress And Anxiety Can Cause a TMJ Disorder

Sep 23, 2022 | Uncategorized

What is TMJ?

Those who have pain directly in the jaw joint or in the muscles surrounding them have a condition called a TMJ disorder, a type of temporomandibular disorder (TMD). TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jawbone to your skull. There is one joint on each side of the jaw, and it works like a sliding hinge allowing the jaw to open and close. 

Some symptoms of TMJ include: 

  • Pain in and around the jaw or the ear
  • Aching pain or swelling around the face
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open and close your mouth
  • Clicking or grating sensation when you open or close your mouth

Stress and TMJ

It can be challenging to pinpoint the precise reason one develops a TMJ disorder, but stress and anxiety are common since they can trigger bruxism, teeth grinding, muscular tension around the jaw, or teeth clenching. 

Teeth grinding and clenching can be very damaging to the temporomandibular joints as it overworks and strains them and the surrounding muscles. Many people aren’t even aware of this bad habit, as it’s commonly done while asleep. Elevated stress and anxiety can increase the likelihood of grinding and clenching to occur, leading to TMJ pain and discomfort. 

If you think you may have TMJ, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional; treatment is available! 

Contact us to learn about our TMJ treatment options today!

For TMJ treatment in Suffolk County, Dr. Scott Simonetti, a TMJ disorder specialist, is here to help diagnose and put an end to your pain and discomfort caused by a TMJ disorder. Visit our website or give us a call at (631) 277-4848 to learn more about our POD® night guard treatment and how we can help you.