Yes, stress and anxiety can lead to TMJ! Stress and anxiety are common in many New Yorkers because of the fast paced lifestyle in the big apple. There is a known link between stress and teeth grinding, which directly correlates to TMJ. Dr. Nojan Bakhtiari often tells patients that the TMJ or the temporomandibular joint can develop issues when the jaw clenches often and teeth grind, either during sleep or throughout the day. The constant wear and tear that these 2 bad habits cause on the jaw joint can cause TMJ disorder to develop over time. Things just as jaw misalignment, muscle soreness, headaches, and neck pain can be caused as a result of stress on the TMJ. It is important to seek the help of a NYC TMJ doctor when you develop any of these symptoms so they do not become worse.
Why do stress and anxiety cause teeth grinding?
When people are stressed, we exert hormones like cortisol and our sympathetic nervous systems become more active. This causes an onset of physical responses. One such symptom linked to this is muscle tightness. Muscles within the jaw tend to tighten up during this state of anxiety, and thus teeth grinding occurs. This clenching of the jaw and side to side motion can disturb the alignment of the jaw joints, slip cartilage disks out of place, and cause jaw locking and popping. Furthermore, being stressed reduces your chances of having a deep sleep, and jaw clenching and teeth grinding occur more often in those with lighter sleep cycles. This becomes a bad cycle because teeth grinding leads to poor sleep, so it is a circle.
How reducing stress and anxiety along with seeing a TMJ specialist can help your TMJ
There are many ways to reduce stress. Some of these include but are not limited to yoga, meditation, various therapy methods, exercise, and so on. When coupling these stress relieving practices with care from a TMJ specialist in Manhattan like Dr. Nojan Bakhtiari, your stress linked TMJ can improve significantly. At Dr. Nojan’s office, we provide TMJ treatments like trigger point injections (Botox), night guards, sleep apnea solutions, and more. For more information, give our office a call or schedule an appointment online today.