The temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, are among the more complex joints in your body. Any problem that prevents the TMJ from working properly may result in a painful disorder, also referred to as TMJ disorders or sometimes TMD.
What causes TMJ syndrome?
According to medicinenet.com…
The causes of TMJ syndrome are not completely understood. Multiple factors contribute to the muscle tightness and dysfunction that characterize this condition. It is not clear whether some of these causes directly lead to TMJ syndrome or if they are a result of the disorder. Causes may include:
- Misalignment (malocclusion) of or trauma to the teeth or jaw
- Teeth Grinding
- Poor posture
- Arthritis or other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders
- Excessive gum chewing
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
We know that excessive stress can give you a headache, stomachache and even heart problems, but what you may not realize is that stress can affect your oral health as well.
According to WebMD stress and anxiety can affect you in the following ways:
- Mouth sores, including canker sores and cold sores
- Clenching of teeth and teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating routines
- Periodontal (gum) disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease
Mouth sores such as canker sores can be painful and bothersome.
WebMD Defines Canker sores as “small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red — appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even greater numbers. Although experts aren’t sure what causes them — it could be immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses — they do think that stress, as well as fatigue and allergies, can increase the risk of getting them. Canker sores are not contagious.”
Relief can be found by the use of over-the-counter topical anesthetics and by limiting your ingestion of spicy or acidic foods until they heal.
Cold sores are are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. They can also be triggered by an emotional upset. Over the counter remedies are available. It’s important to start treatment as soon as you notice the cold sore. Talk to our office as soon as you can.
Stress may make you clench and grind your teeth and can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Contact us and ask what can be done to prevent grinding problems associated with stress. Dr. Brogdon may recommend a night guard that you wear at night when you sleep or may have other suggestions for you.
Remember, stress can affect your health in many ways. Call us today and let us help you with stress associated with your oral health.