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All Posts Tagged: tmj

Who is at risk for TMD?

Being at risk for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) increases your likelihood of developing this condition. It is possible to develop TMD with or without the risk factors, but if you do have a number of those listed, it is important to ask your dentist what you might be able to do to reduce your risk. Some of the risk factors of TMD might include the following:

People that are stressed

If you’re under a lot of stress in your life, you may have an increased risk of TMD. Some of the stress-related habits that may increase your risk of TMD include habitually clenching and unclenching your jaw, grinding your teeth during the day and/or night in your sleep, or constantly chewing things, such as gum or ice.

People with certain medical conditions

There are various medical conditions that can also increase your risk of TMD, including misaligned teeth or bite, jaw or facial deformities, arthritic conditions and history of jaw or facial injuries.

Women

While both men and women may suffer from TMD, women account for 90 percent of those that seek treatment. Research continues to be completed to determine a possible connection between hormones and TMD, indicated sometimes that men and women process pain signals differently.

People over the age of 30

Age can also play a factor in a person’s risk for developing TMD. Individuals with TMD are most likely to be between the ages of 30 and 50 years of age. This does not always mean a person will develop TMD, but they are more likely.

People experiencing injury

Trauma or injury to the jaw area can translate to long-term issues. TMD may develop if an injury causes dislocation of the jaw joint or movement of the disc and if muscles of opening and closing the jaw are weakened or strained, among other complicating jaw conditions.

Contact our Warrenton dentist, Dr. Bonnie Foster, if you fall into any of the categories above to see if you suffer from TMD.

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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.

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