Do you have TMJ disorder? Learn the symptoms
- Discomfort while chewing or biting
- Hearing a popping or clicking as you open or close your mouth
- Jaw joint pain or locking
- Suffering frequent headaches, earaches, or lockjaw
- Ear and sinus pain
- A deep aching sensation in your face and jaw
Stress causes and contributes to TMJ pain
Stress is considered a big contributing factor to TMJ. Why? When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to grind and clench your teeth. This condition is also called bruxism. Bruxism puts excessive strain on your teeth in turn affects your ligaments and — you guessed it — your jaw muscles.
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, make sure to see your dentist and make a plan for keeping your jaw relaxed. Since grinding and clenching is most common at night, most people don’t even realize they’re doing it. So make sure to keep an eye out for the other symptoms of TMJ and talk to your dentist right away if you notice any issues.
At-home tips for relaxing your jaw
- Give your jaw joints a gentle massage in the morning and before bed
- Diet changes such as avoiding hard and sticky foods or caffeine
- Lifestyle changes, such as changing your sleeping position
- Relaxation exercises such as yoga or meditation