Is stress affecting your jaw? Many people living with the pain of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) do not realize the impact of stress and anxiety on their jaw joints. But, the pain of TMD is directly impacted by stress and anxiety. We hope to bring you some eye-opening insight into how these conditions factor in and a few ways to combat their effects in this blog.

TMD, Stress and Anxiety

The temporomandibular joints are small but very complex joints, located on either side of the jaw. They are what connect the lower jaw to the skull. They are made up of the joint itself, soft tissues and muscles.

The cause of TMD is typically misalignment (malocclusion) of the bite, which can translate to headaches, jaw pain and stiffness, and potential loss of use. This misalignment of the bite can be exacerbated by outside forces, such as tooth clenching and grinding, which are common side effects of stress and anxiety.

But, anxiety and stress can also cause TMD, not just make it worse. This is because of the clenching and grinding that go along with these conditions.

Anxiety and stress are common in many individuals and can be fleeting, but for some, these conditions persist for long periods or become chronic conditions. When they happen regularly, the resulting effects can be severe. The side effects of these conditions include restlessness, nervousness, insomnia and fatigue. In many cases, clenching and grinding of the teeth occur during the daytime, but it also happens frequently at night when you don't know it.

Signs that you may be clenching or grinding your teeth subconsciously include:

  • Your partner reports you may be grinding or clenching loudly during sleep
  • Flattened, fractured or chipped teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Worn-down tooth enamel
  • Tooth pain or increased sensitivity
  • Sore jaw muscles
  • Muscle tension at the jaw
  • Neck pain
  • Facial pain
  • Ear pain, but no diagnosis of ear problems
  • Headache near the temples

If you're experiencing these symptoms, it's time to talk. Schedule a consultation to determine if you're grinding and clenching or experiencing other symptoms of TMD. Call Legends Dental at 254-294-4040 to schedule an appointment today.

Covid-19

A NOTE TO OUR PATIENTS

The well-being of our patients has always been our top priority!

Legends Dental is following the recommendations of Governor Abbott, Texas State Dental Board, ADA, as well as the CDC. We will be limiting our services effective immediately. Due to recent circumstances and for the safety and well-being of our patients, their families, and our community, we will not be performing any routine or non-urgent dental procedures at this time.

Though our office hours have been temporarily shortened, our team will continue to support anyone who may be experiencing pain and all who require an Emergency Care Visit.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency or having pain, please text our office at (254)776-0691 or call (254)799-9540 so we may get you scheduled as quickly as possible. You can also message us on Facebook.

Examples of urgent dental care treatments include:
Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation. Surgical postoperative osteitis or dry socket dressing changes. Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling. Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma. Dental treatment cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation. Extensive decay or defective restorations causing pain; suture removal; denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded; and snipping or adjustments of an orthodontic wire causing pain.

Additionally, our team is here to help those affected by cancellations. We will gladly assist with rescheduling to a time that is best for you. If you have an appointment that may be affected, or would like to reschedule regardless, please call (254)799-9540 or text (254)776-0691 so we may accommodate you.

We love all our patients and look forward to being able to serve all of your dental needs as soon as possible!! Thank you for you time and understanding during these circumstances.