The Relationship Between the Jaw and Anxiety

If your jaw pops or cracks when you move it or just generally hurts more often than it should, you might also suffer from chronic anxiety. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can wear on the nervous system and surrounding muscles and contribute to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The relationship between the jaw and anxiety is explored by neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Wallace.

How Does Jaw Dysfunction Contribute to Anxiety?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) refers to poor alignment of the lower jaw to the head and neck. The muscles and joints of the jaw and neck have to compensate for this misalignment, and as a result, can cause a wide range of symptoms.

  • Jaw discomfort or soreness
  • Headaches
  • Pain behind the eyes, in the face, shoulder, neck, and back
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears
  • Jaw clicking or popping

One of those symptoms is that TMD can affect a person’s entire posture. This can affect a person’s anxiety because as neck and shoulder muscles endure the strain of a dysfunctional jaw, the nervous system gets stuck in a sympathetic mode, triggering their “fight or flight” response.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is usually accompanied by symptoms such as feeling:

  • Restlessness
  • Tense
  • Fatigued or tired
  • Irritable
  • Distracted
  • Worried

TMD Treatment at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort

If you’ve noticed a combination of some of the symptoms above, you can reach out to our office at (843) 410-0345 for a consultation. Our specialty in neuromuscular dentistry allows us to properly treat TMD-GAD patients by treating them as a part of the same system as opposed to separate unrelated conditions.

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