You experience stress from your job, environment, family, and home responsibilities every day. Pain conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) are also known for causing stress and anxiety. With this in mind, TMJ and stress go hand in hand. When pain is always on your mind and you don’t know when it will flare up next, it becomes a contributing factor for your stress. Other symptoms associated with TMJ such as tinnitus and migraines can also disrupt your peace of mind. Incidentally, stress can also cause or exacerbate TMJ symptoms and cause you headaches. A lot of patients ask if stress can cause jaw pain. This is true. Many people clench and grind their teeth during periods of stress, which can fatigue your jaw joint or cause a bad bite to form. The resulting tension in your jaw can strain your neck and shoulder muscles and cause soreness and stiffness.

Your stress could also make you more prone to migraines. Nearly 85% of migraines are caused by tension in your neck and face muscles. Managing your stress with easy stress-relief techniques may help you manage your TMJ pain, neck and shoulder stiffness, and migraines. Likewise, treating painful conditions such as TMJ can help you relieve your stress and jaw pain or headaches.

group of young friends taking a selfie

Get Some Fresh Air

If you’ve hit a burnout point in your day, get outside. Go for a walk. Exercise comes in many forms and will encourage the release of endorphins. Being in a new setting will also give your brain new things to focus on while it works through problems you are having trouble finding solutions for. The sunshine will be good for you too. Sunshine boosts the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep, memory, and mood.

Be Kind To Yourself

Negative thoughts are powerful things that not only make you feel bad but can increase your stress. They can produce chemical reactions in your body that increase stress levels and lower your immune system. Instead of focusing on the negatives in any situation, remind yourself of the positives. Give yourself positive affirmations about the things you’re good at, or what you are working to improve.

Journal About It

Setting aside some time every day to journal about situations that are bothering you can help to reduce your stress. By doing so, you may be able to process difficult thoughts and questions. Keeping a journal has also been found to help with problem-solving and positive thinking.

Identify Stressors

One of the best things you can do to prevent stress is to know what causes your stress in the first place. Every time you feel stressed out, write down what exactly caused you to feel stressed. Once you identify your stressors, you can avoid them in the future.

Live Healthily

Make sure to sleep 7 to 9 hours every night. A lack of sleep can make it difficult to focus or feel energized throughout the day. You should also make sure to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. These actions can make you feel much less stressed.

Find a Way to Relax

Everyone has their own way of unwinding at the end of the day. It might be reading a book, taking a bubble bath, or simply listening to your favorite tunes. Make sure to take some time each day to relax and then practice these habits whenever you’re feeling stressed out.

Managing Your Pain

Your TMJ symptoms may also contribute to your stress. If you experience jaw pain, buzzing or ringing in your ears, migraines, or neck and shoulder muscle stiffness, you may benefit from TMJ treatment. TMJ is usually caused by a misalignment of the jaw which fatigues your jaw joint. Using non-surgical methods, we can realign your jaw in order to relieve your symptoms.

For more information about how TMJ treatment can help you manage your symptoms, please call (918) 528-3330 to meet with a Tulsa dentist.