Reduce stress for TM disorders

There is a strong relationship between stress, muscle tension, and temporomandibular (TM) disorders. Emotional stress can be the result of:

  • Sudden changes in your life, such as the loss of a loved one. Stress can also accompany positive changes, such as starting a new job.
  • Problems at home or at work.
  • Worrying about your performance at work, at school, or in an athletic event.
  • Anxiety or depression.

An overstressed mind can lead to an overstressed body. Excessive tension in your jaw muscles can force your jaw joint to move in an unnatural manner. Over time, you may damage the disc that cushions the TM joint, or you may wear down some of your teeth, forcing your jaw into an unnatural position.

Learn to recognize when stress is affecting your life and find ways to relieve it.

  • Exercise is an excellent way for your body to process stress in a healthy way.
  • Relaxation skills and activities can make a big difference in how stress affects your body and mind.

For tips, see the topic Stress Management. Also see the topic Mental Health Problems and Mind-Body Wellness.

Last Updated: January 13, 2010

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