Tag Archives: stress

How do you prevent TMJ?


What is TMJ?

Feeling stressed out?  Your not alone.  A survey released on February 15, 2017 by the American Psychological Association reports that Americans say they’re feeling more stress than ever before.  Unfortunately, there is quite a down side to lot’s of stress.  It will ultimately affect your health in one form or another.  This stands true with dental issues as well.  TMJ problems are rising due to high stress levels in the world. TMJ or Temporomandibular Disorder is a condition that indicates the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly.

So what behaviors contribute to TMJ?

Many people who are stressed tend to develop some bad behaviors.  Biting on fingernails, pen caps, or the inside of your mouth can cause jaw pain. Other conditions such as when that feeling of anxiety kicks in, we find a cheesy pizza, bag of chips or even ice cream.  Let’s face it, there are many stress eaters out there.  Unfortunately, when “stressing out”, people tend to eat larger bites while eating.  To alleviate symptoms of TMJ, you need to avoid the behaviors.  Stop chewing on your nails, or pen.  While eating, take smaller bites.  You can also regularly massage your jaw, cheeks and temple muscles.

Another symptoms of TMJ is spasms. Most patients find heat is helpful in relieving pain and muscle tension.  This pain may radiate to your neck or shoulders. It can also cause ear pain, ringing the the ears and hearing loss.  Symptoms typically manifest when talking, yawning or chewing.  If symptoms occur, apply moist heat to the spasm area.  Also, try to maintain good sleep posture with neck support.  Good sleep posture is achieved when you maintain the curve in your lower back.  It is recommended that a person lye on their back with a pillow under their knees.  If that doesn’t work for you, try sleeping on your side with your knees slightly bent.

Another habit that adds to TMJ symptoms is teeth grinding.  Teeth grinding and clenching is a habit over time that will damage your teeth and will also add to TMJ symptoms.  The best way to resolve this issue is to see your dentist and ask about a night guard.  A night guard is a device that you where in your sleep and will prevent you from grinding.

We encourage you to contact-us via phone or email. Please use the email below to contact us via email.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to hear from you!

8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610
Charlotte, NC 28262


Business Hours
Monday: 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Thursday: 7:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. – Every Other Week
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

The Effects Stress Can Have On Your Oral Health

Oral and psychological health issues are intimately related. Psychological well-being can affect oral health and oral health can affect one’s psychological well-being. Add to the mix is odontophobia, a psychological condition depicting an irrational and overwhelming fear of dentistry.


The perception of loss of control and helplessness are issues that create  fear. These perceptions stem from our limbic or primitive emotion system and  require reasonable and logical executive level cognition to overcome.   Unfortunately, some cannot summon such resolve.

Chronic stress can manifest orally through over salivation or dry  mouth.  Disrupting the pH balance in saliva can cause acidic saliva, which  causes tooth decay. Dry mouth from stress affects bacterial growth, and many of  the medications prescribed to reduce stress may cause dry mouth.

Many psychological issues result in fewer, if any, visits to the dentist. For  depressives, a visit to the dentist is not high on their list of concerns. This  can cause tooth decay or loss, causing additional depression. Additionally,  having an unsightly smile can reduce self-esteem, restricting a healthy level of  sociality, reinforcing or causing depression.

Recent studies by a team of neuro-scientists suggest there are dental markers that could indicate  Alzheimer’s and MMI or mild memory impairment, a pre-clinical stage of dementia.   These studies are nascent but show promising information leading researchers to believe there is a possibility that inflammation from periodontal  disease may find its way to the brain, affecting the hippocampus in particular.

For a stress-free dental experience Contact Glasscock Dental

8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610 Charlotte, NC 28262


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