Stress is one of those health problems that people often carry in different ways, depending on many factors. For example, some end up venting their worries and anxiety by grinding their teeth at night or when thinking about their stressors. This action can cause temporomandibular joint disorders, but, thankfully, physical therapy can help manage this issue for those affected by it.
How Stress Causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
People who grind their teeth unconsciously due to stress are putting a lot of pressure on what is known as the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. This joint connects the jaw to the rest of the skull and provides the power that the mouth needs to chew and grind food. Unfortunately, all of that undue stress on the joint via grinding can cause it to wear down and experience excessive pain that can be quite hard to control.
And as this pain worsens, a person may experience a higher level of stress and create a bad cycle that can trigger increasing pain and suffering. As a result, it is critical to take the time to learn how to manage this problem. A little physical therapy and some relaxation techniques may provide the relief that a person needs when they start to notice their TMJ pain appearing after a stressful day.
Physical Therapy May Help Many
TMJ disorders often require the use of various types of over-the-counter medications to manage appropriately. However, there are also physical therapy options that help those with this problem. For example, stretches of the jaw's muscles and tendons can help to keep them healthier and relieve the tension that occurs in a person's mouth when they grind their teeth due to stress or anxiety.
Relaxation exercises are also critical to those experiencing this type of pain. For example, meditation can help take a person's mind off their stress and anxiety and keep them from grinding their teeth. Deep breathing, positive ideation, and even healing herbal teas may all help to calm a person's anxiety and keep the pressure off their teeth when life gets tough.
Using these methods can help to prevent the need for more intense treatment options, such as getting surgery. This care option is typically only necessary if a person damages their TMJ and needs either a replacement or surgery to support the surrounding tissues. And by regularly visiting a TMJ dentist for both physical therapy and other care options, it is possible to minimize the need for surgery.
To learn more, contact a resource like Allure Dental.