anxiety and jaw pain

Anxiety and Jaw Pain – What the Two have in Common

Dr Devine TMJ

anxiety and jaw painServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Approximately 40 million adults over the age of 18 experience anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Additionally, one report states that about 10 million Americans are dealing with temporomandibular joint disorder. Did you know that anxiety and TMJ disorder are sometimes related? Anxiety and stress often result in muscle tension and pain, even in the jaw joints. If you are dealing with anxiety, you could also experience jaw pain similar to TMJ disorder. Today on our blog, physiological dentists in Nashville at Devine Dentistry explore the similarities between anxiety and jaw pain.

The relation between anxiety and TMJ disorder

Anxiety and TMJ disorder often are a vicious cycle. Untreated stress and anxiety could lead to TMJ disorder, and vice versa – untreated TMJ pain could provide feelings of anxiety and stress for the sufferer. TMJ disorder stems from strain of the temporomandibular joints. This joint is located on both sides of your face, about one to two finger widths away from your ear. It is an intricate joint with blood vessels and nerves running through it, connecting to the upper and lower jawbones, as well as the skull and spinal cord. When the TMJ joint becomes irritated and inflamed, blood flow is restricted, and pain may lead to headaches, neck tension, lockjaw, teeth clenching and grinding, or even tinnitus (ringing in the ears). If you have jaw joint pain, you might get the run around at your doctor’s office because it is a disorder often overlooked by primary care providers. Many TMJ sufferers develop additional stress and anxiety due to their ongoing search for answers and constantly dealing with pain that will not go away.

Anxiety – Getting to the bottom of it

Anxiety is a normal emotion felt by practically everyone. However, you might have an anxiety disorder if you find it difficult dealing with a surge of emotions and stress or if these feelings impede your ability to function every day. Severe anxiety disorders may lead to insomnia, fatigue, and overall pain throughout the body. Anxiety and TMJ disorder inevitably become a two-way street. Our Nashville TMJ dentists recommend seeing a doctor if you experience anxiety that you cannot control on your own. Additionally, if you experience ongoing jaw pain, headaches, and fatigue, talk to our dentists about a TMJ disorder evaluation.

How the dentist helps relieve jaw pain

Our mouths are apart of our bodies, yet medically are treated separately. If you believe that you may have anxiety-fueled jaw pain, we recommend seeing a Nashville dentist that treats TMJ disorder. While seeking professional care for anxiety should be part of your treatment, you should still protect your teeth and jaw joints by receiving a TMJ disorder evaluation. Often, TMJ disorder can be managed by wearing a custom oral appliance that relieves pressure and strain on the jaw joints, reducing inflammation and eliminating jaw pain. Devine Dentistry offers medication-free treatment for TMJ disorder in Nashville. Consultations are available by appointment. To schedule your visit, contact Devine Dentistry by calling (615) 269-4209 today. It’s time to start living your best life – pain-free!