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TMJ & Stress: Understanding the Connection

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction, commonly known as TMD, is a condition that affects the jaw joints connecting your skull to your lower jaw. It’s estimated that over 95% of TMJ dysfunctions are caused by improper occlusion or bite correction. This can lead to symptoms such as a sore jaw, headaches, and teeth grinding among others.

The Role of Stress in TMJ Dysfunction

Stress has been identified as a significant contributor to TMJ symptoms and disorders. High levels of stress often result in individuals grinding their teeth at night or clenching their jaws during the day. These actions put additional tension on mouth muscles and the jawbone leading to pain and discomfort. In addition, stress-induced behaviors can also disrupt normal bite patterns due to missing, crooked, or misaligned teeth causing further strain on dental structures required for daily tasks like eating and speaking.

Diagnosing TMJ Disorders

Advanced diagnostic technologies play an integral role in diagnosing and treating uncomfortable bites or temporomandibular dysfunction issues. One such technology is the T-Scan III system which analyzes bites far more accurately than traditional methods. This system allows professionals like Dr.Ray Becker – an internationally recognized expert in this field – to see force timing and contact between teeth thus enabling them to understand what’s going on with one’s occlusal objectively. Dr.Becker holds mastership status in Total BioPAK®; he has received Diplomat Award status for his efforts educating medical doctors & dentists internationally about Electrovibratography, Electromyography & Electrognathography usage

Treating TMJ Disorders

Once diagnosed with a TMJ disorder treatment options vary depending upon each patient’s unique situation. Initial steps usually involve using oral appliances like bite guards or splints to hold the jaw in a better resting position during sleep. Further treatment options include bite correction therapy and restorative dentistry solutions. These treatments aim at reducing facial swelling, inflammation caused by jaw pain, and ensuring that teeth fit together well over time.

Management of TMJ Disorders

While treating TMJ disorders is crucial, managing stress levels is equally important. High stress levels can weaken your immune system leading to more serious health conditions including TMJ dysfunctions. Tips for managing stress include prioritizing sleep, listening to music, decluttering your environment, calling a friend, or going for a walk. Other strategies could involve getting a change of scenery, learning new skills, or playing with pets. If you suspect that tension from daily life affects your oral health it’s advisable to consult with dental professionals who can help find suitable solutions for you. The ultimate goal should be not just treating but also preventing further damage due to high-stress levels on one’s overall oral & mental health.