The Role of Stress and Anxiety in TMJ Disorder

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The Role of Stress and Anxiety in TMJ Disorder

The relationship between TMJ and stress and anxiety

The symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ/TMJD, can have an effect on all parts of your life. Your life can have an effect on your TMJ as well, particularly if you are under a lot of stress or have anxiety. These conditions can be chronic or situational, but both can have an effect on the neuromuscular system. If you’ve got TMJ that’s related to stress or anxiety, you’ll be pleased to learn that TMJ surgery is best used as a last resort. In fact, the majority of dentists and doctors agree that noninvasive methods like wearing a CustMbite mouthguard for TMJ can help to alleviate TMJD discomfort.

How do stress and anxiety affect TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is the body’s most complex joint. Motions like chewing and speaking require the joint to open and close and move back and forth. When this system of ligaments, joints, muscles, and bones is injured or inflamed, it’s called TMJD. There are two primary ways that stress and anxiety can have an effect on TMJ: both can aggravate the symptoms of TMJ by increasing muscular tension and bruxing.

Elevated stress and anxiety can cause tension in the muscles of the jaw. This can exacerbate TMJ pain and soreness by exhausting the muscles. You might also compensate by holding parts of your jaw differently, which can have a domino effect on the rest of the body. Muscular tension can also contribute to bad posture, another factor in TMJ pain.

Elevated stress and anxiety can also increase the likelihood of bruxism (or teeth grinding), which, over time, can have serious effects on your teeth. Not only does bruxing wear down the enamel of your teeth, but it can also crack or break your teeth. The pressure can also loosen and move teeth out of place. This causes a misalignment in your bite and contributes to muscular tension - additional contributing factors of TMJ.

Will I need TMJ surgery?

If stress and anxiety are major contributors to your TMJ, the chances of TMJ surgery are low. Most doctors and dentists will recommend a number of nonsurgical methods to try before resorting to surgery. Many patients find great relief from their TMJ symptoms through a combination of exercise, stress and anxiety management, and using a CustMbite mouthguard for TMJ. However, it’s important to be proactive. Even seemingly minor symptoms should be discussed with a dentist or doctor.

What results can I expect from noninvasive approaches to TMJ pain?

Studies show that noninvasive methods of addressing the causes and symptoms of TMJ are very effective. In fact, over 85 percent of patients will never develop chronic TMJ disorder. Those who find that stress or anxiety contribute to their TMJ have many different options at their disposal, such as:

  • Relaxation and deep breathing techniques. If high-stress situations or anxiety cause you to tense up or brux, learning how to use relaxation exercises and deep breathing to calm your mind and your body. This can help to remove excess strain from the muscles of the temporomandibular joint.
  • TMJ exercises. There are many exercises that are designed to increase mobility and strengthen the temporomandibular joint. This provides additional support to the jaw.
  • Wearing a mouthguard for TMJ.

The best mouthguard for stress and anxiety-induced TMJ symptoms

At CustMbite, we wanted to provide a TMJ mouthguard that was accessible to everyone. Custom mouthguards from a dentist’s office can run into the hundreds of dollars, and mass-market mouthguards were thick and difficult to mold. With this in mind, CustMbite teamed up with dental professionals to create a patented fitting material called VistaMaxx that makes our mouthguards:

  • Easy to set up: CustMbite’s no-boil TMJ mouthguards require only two minutes of your time, a microwave, and a bowl of cold water to give you a custom-fit mouthguard.
  • Remoldable: Unlike other brands, VistaMaxx allows our mouthguards to be remolded without losing any protective qualities. This is especially helpful for those with braces.
  • Thin: CustMbite mouthguards for TMJ don’t rely on bulk to protect your teeth. VistaMaxx provides superior shock absorption and durability without thickness.
  • Comfortable: Our mouthguards let you talk, drink water, and breathe with ease, so you won’t have to remove them. A comfortable TMJ mouthguard from CustMbite can help you be consistent too - if you’re not dreading your nightguard, you’re much more likely to put it in.
  • Easy to care for: No special cleaning tablets required here! VistaMaxx is nonporous, so saliva and bacteria wash right off with only a toothbrush and water.

Experience the CustMbite difference

No matter how often stress and anxiety affect your life, its effects can ripple throughout your life. When it comes to addressing the effect it has on TMJD, one of the best and easiest approaches is to wear a TMJ mouthguard. CustMbite offers a comfortable, easy-to-care-for TMJ mouthguard that comes to you - no stressful trips to the dentist required! When you’re ready to experience the difference CustMbite can make, buy yourself the best TMJ mouthguard for stress.

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