How TMJ Pain, Grinding, And Stress Get Out Of Control

TMJ Treatment, Teeth Grinding in Wellesley, MA | Tocci Dental Associates

You know how stress impacts your body. When you’re under a lot of stress, your muscles can tighten up into knots. You can also get headaches, insomnia, and fatigue. But can also affect your dental health.

If you are feeling tension, stiffness, or even pain in your jaw joints (TMJ), then you could have the start of TMJ disorder. If left untreated, this condition can lead to powerful migraines and lockjaw.

Call our Wellesley, MA dental office today at 781-304-8172 for all-natural, non-surgical TMJ treatment. Dr. Tocci is your Wellesley dentist trained in using three-dimensional scans of your bite to find any problems and several types of therapy including TruDenta, ultrasonic, and cold laser.

Why You Cannot Ignore TMJ Pain

The joints that control your jaw are called temporomandibular joints. Since that’s rather long, most people just say “TMJ”. Whenever you chew, talk, laugh, yawn, or drink, you are using your TMJ. They are some of the most used joints in your body.

That’s why it’s a big problem when they start to give you problems. TMJ pain or stiffness is usually just the beginning. Eventually, you could be facing more problems like these:

  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or earaches
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Upper back pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Difficulty opening or closing your jaw
  • Popping/clicking noises when you chew

Why You Grind Your Teeth

Another thing you tend to do when stressed is grinding your teeth. Officially known as bruxism, this is often done unconsciously. Teeth grinding slowly damages your teeth, creating worn spots where the tooth is weak. Such grinding happens when you’re under a lot of stress.

However, it also adds tension and stress to your TMJ. Teeth grinding can happen at night, even when you’re asleep. This is when you TMJ are supposed to relax and heal naturally, but with teeth grinding, they’re still being used at that time.

How Stress Makes TMJ DIsorder Worse

Unfortunately, you can find yourself caught in a very bad cycle with TMJ pain, teeth grinding, and stress. Here’s what can happen:

  • You start to experience pain when you chew, or the TMJ pain starts turning into headaches and upper body pain.
  • All that discomfort starts to worry you and stress you out.
  • You begin to grind your teeth thanks to that stress.
  • The stress also starts to make your muscles tense up instead of relaxing and resting.
  • Both teeth grinding and muscle tension makes the TMJ pain worse.

And then the cycle continues to spiral out of control. That’s how a little jaw stiffness can lead to TMJ disorder.

TMJ Treatment From Your Wellesley Dentist

Thankfully, you can call Dr. Tocci today at 781-304-8172 to schedule TMJ treatment that can help.

First, you’ll get a thorough exam to determine exactly what are the TMJ problems. With the revolutionary TruDenta system, you can get your bite force and range of motion measured. You’ll also get a 3D scan to analyze your bite to see if that’s contributing to your TMJ problems.

Then you can receive the treatment that will work best for you. Dr. Tocci is your Wellesley dentist who can over several kinds of TMJ treatment:

  • Oral appliances are small devices you wear over your teeth at night. They take some of the pressure off your jaw, helping them heal naturally.
  • Neuromuscular therapy to help the muscles in your TMJ relax.
  • Ultrasound therapy to improve blood flow to your TMJ and encourage the tissues there to heal.
  • Cold laser therapy to reduce inflammation in your TMJ so they can heal up.
  • Trigger point therapy to help your jaw return to normal use.
  • Microcurrent therapy to improve your jaw’s motion and reduce inflammation in the muscles and joints.

Call us TODAY at 781-304-8172 or send us a message using our online form to schedule your appointment for TMJ treatment. With the help of Dr. Tocci, you can finally break that cycle of TMJ pain, teeth grinding, and stress so your jaw joints can heal and feel great again.