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TMJ Disorders and Increased Stress

With the current situation with the COVID-19 epidemic, a lot of people have a bit more stress on their plate than usual. For sufferers of TMJ disorders, this can mean an increase in symptoms. Dr. Robert J. Gauthier of Apex Dental, a dentist in Northborough, offers what to look out for with your TMJ disorder symptoms.

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If you’ve been able to keep your headaches, particularly morning ones, managed with a nightguard, they may come back with an increase in stress. You may catch yourself grinding or clenching your teeth during the day, even if you’ve only had issues at night before. This can lead to an increase in headaches, jaw pain, and earaches due to the increase in the frequency of grinding and clenching.

Jaw Movement

In addition, the movement of your jaw could be a bit more limited. If you’ve had problems before with opening and closing your mouth, or struggling and pain with eating, this could come back. Clicking and popping may be stronger now as well. Research techniques on massages to help with TMJ disorders. This is something you and your partner or family member can do to help while isolating at home.

Chipped or Broken Teeth

An increase in grinding and clenching inevitably means more wear and stress put on your teeth. Many times, this can lead to chips, cracks, or breaks. Keep an eye on your teeth to see if you notice any cosmetic changes. Many chips may be cosmetic, but they can still be inconvenient. They impact self-confidence and can also have sharp edges that may be harmful to the tongue and other soft tissue in your mouth.

If chips or breaks become more severe, this can cause you a lot of pain. Severe breaks can expose the pulp of the tooth, leading to a lot of pain. If something like this happens, please call us immediately. This is considered a dental emergency and you’ll want to get that pulp protected and tooth taken care of as soon as possible.

Trouble Sleeping

Even with a nightguard, the combination of increased stress and extra TMJ disorder symptoms can definitely disrupt your sleep pattern. Do your best to help ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. Getting rest can help both your immune system and your mental health during this crazy time. Make sure you avoid caffeine after the late afternoon and try to keep to a consistent sleep routine.

Your Dentist in Northborough

After the pandemic is over, make sure that you’re set for a checkup and cleaning to make sure the increased stress didn’t wreak havoc on your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online!