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. 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. 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.
Laugh Out Loud
The old saying that laughter is the best medicine has a lot of truth behind it. Laughing can boost your endorphin levels as much as 27 percent. Other benefits include relaxing your muscles, pain reduction, and boosting your immune system. Take some time to watch a funny viral video or to read the funny pages in the paper.
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.
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, Dr. Winters can realign your jaw in order to relieve your symptoms.
Everyone experiences TMJ differently, and treatment plans may vary depending on your symptoms. In order to evaluate the cause of your symptoms, Dr. Winters will utilize a special machine to relax your jaw muscles and measure your jaw’s proper alignment using the K7 system. After determining the proper alignment of your jaw, Dr. Winters will craft a custom oral appliance to encourage the proper realignment of your jaw. Realigning your jaw can relieve excessive pressure that causes migraines. Your neck and shoulder muscles will also be able to relax into more comfortable positions, which can help to reduce the occurrence of migraines.
For more information about how TMJ treatment can help you manage your symptoms, please call 918-528-3330 to meet with a Tulsa dentist at Winters Dental Excellence.