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Is Your TMD Caused by Stress?

Maybe you’ve been trying to find the root cause for your TMD but are coming up short. For many, stress is the culprit. It affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. In fact, about 77 percent of people in the United States have reported that they experienced physical symptoms due to stress. Let’s take a look at how you can combat stress to help alleviate your TMD symptoms.

Adopt Awareness. If you are feeling stressed, take a moment to check and see if you’re carrying tension in your jaw. You might even notice that you are grinding your teeth. If so, it’s important to be able to pinpoint these moments throughout the day. The more you can make yourself aware of the situation, the faster you’ll be able to stop yourself from clenching and grinding when you feel anxious. When this happens, loosen your jaw and massage the muscles.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep. You should be getting at least eight hours of sleep a night in order to feel fully rested the next day. Having trouble sleeping? Make sure that electronic devices, caffeine or afternoon naps aren’t to blame. Keep your room at a comfortable temperature and leave distractions out of the bedroom for a restful sleep.

Eat Right. Your diet and stress are closely linked, and often times we don’t eat healthy when we have an impending deadline or a long workday. It’s sometimes faster just to run to the vending machine for a sugary snack than it is to pack something healthy. However, try to plan ahead before you leave for work. Be sure to stock up on fruits, vegetables and foods rich in omega-3s, which have been shown to reduce stress. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the sudden energy zap that often accompanies chowing down on a candy bar.

Exercise Regularly. Exercise is anything that gets the blood flowing, which triggers endorphins. Take a quick jaunt around the office or take a quick walk during your lunch break. You wouldn’t believe how just a little bit of movement throughout the day can instantly brighten a stressed mood.

Have any other tips for how you deal with stress? If so, we would love to hear them. If you’re currently dealing with TMD and need relief from your symptoms, contact Dr. Bonnie Foster, our dentist in Warrenton.