TMJ caused by stress? How the Coronavirus is affecting head/neck pain

TMJ Caused By Stress

As more and more people are adjusting to the changes in their daily lives, they are seeing increased levels of stress. People clench their teeth when they are stressed. More often than not, they don’t even know they are doing it. (Have you ever been at a red light and you realize you’re clenching your teeth and grabbing the steering wheel tight?) The result is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder which causes jaw pain, ear pain/ringing, frequent headaches and more. If you already suffer from TMJ, it is flaring up now (more than likely). On the other hand, if you have developed jaw pain/headaches recently, you’re experiencing TMJ caused by stress.

What Is TMJ?

The TMJ is a hinge and gliding joint and is the most consistently used joint in the body. The round upper end of the lower jaw, or the movable portion of the joint, is called a condyle; the socket is called the articular fossa. Between the condyle and the articular fossa is a disc made of cartilage that acts as a cushion to absorb stress and allows the condyle to move easily when the mouth opens and closes. There are two basic types of TMD: Myogenous (muscle generated pain) and Arthrogenous (jaw joint generated pain). The pain may arise suddenly or progress over months to years with intermittent frequency and intensity.

When To See A Specialist

If you have pain:

  • When eating, especially sever pain that impedes your ability to eat nutritious food
  • That causes a decrease in quality sleep or causes you to lose sleep
  • Which causes lockjaw or not being able to open/close your mouth
  • That results in frequent headaches or migraines that negatively affect your daily routine

What Is The Treatment For TMJ?

If you experience these TMJ-related symptoms, contact Head Pain Institute® (HPI®) to make arrangements for care so we can assess your condition.

Splints, injections, and physical therapy are offered at HPI® to treat the underlying cause and relieve pain. A splint can often reposition the jaw without discomfort and helps strengthen facial muscles to assist in maintaining the proper jaw position over the long term. Joint or muscle injections can provide immediate relief of severe muscle spasms or block pain referral from identified headache triggers, like TMJ. However, Hot/Cold therapy can help stretch and strengthen the jaw joints and should be performed throughout splint treatment.

With today’s technologies in the field of orofacial pain, TMJ problems can finally be treated with a high rate of success. At HPI®, we don’t just treat your symptoms; we diagnose and treat the cause of your discomfort to enable you to live your life more comfortably.

Contact us by emailing or calling 480-945-3629.