Are You Suffering From TMJ or Stress and Anxiety?

The symptoms of TMJ and anxiety disorder are often quite similar. Most of the time doctors will treat your condition as stress and anxiety when it is in fact TMJ. So why are the two conditions pegged together and what is their relationship?

Anxiety and TMJ Symptoms

A lot of you are probably asking yourselves whether you are suffering from merely stress or TMJ. The reason for using the term merely with stress is because people believe that stress and anxiety are less fatal than a TMJ disorder. As you will notice below, none is better than the other and in fact both have similar symptoms hence the reason why doctors misdiagnose TMJ.

Anxiety symptoms are mainly identified by worrying, however, they also include symptoms such as:

    • Tension headaches
    • Insomnia
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle tension
    • Bruxism
    • Numbness

     

When it comes to TMJ the same symptoms are felt along with sensitive jaws and dental problems. Both conditions affect women more than men and as you can see the similarities are comparable.  The reason why stress and anxiety symptoms are so similar is because the two are related. TMJ can in fact be caused by anxiety or stress. Stress can bring about conditions such as bruxism which leads to constant clenching of the teeth. This not only wears out the teeth but can also distort the jaw’s alignment. A person suffering from TMJ is also highly likely to get stress and anxiety. The pain in the jaw bone could ultimately lead to clenching as a stress reliever. TMJ and stress therefore have a really unique bond and one condition easily bring about the other.

Diagnosis

 The best way for your doctor to map out an ideal treatment plan is by first identifying the condition. If a patient is suffering from TMJ, the chiropractor can initiate some anti-anxiety remedies to ward off the impending stress that is bound to come with the condition. Diagnosis of TMJ is often done via tests such as a clench test, x-rays, CT scans and MRIs. When it comes to diagnosing stress and anxiety, the diagnosis is much different and includes a family history evaluation, psychological, and personality tests.

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Most of the time, patients are diagnosed with both stress and TMJ. In such cases, one treatment plan is not enough and the doctor may need to come up different treatment options. Usually a patient will go through physiotherapy sessions where massages and other chiropractic treatments are administered while still undergoing psychological therapy. One of the best therapies that administered to patients is behavioral therapy. This not only helps the patient in relieving stress, it also works to get rid of clenching or bruxism. Surgery is only recommended in severe TMJ cases.

Always remember that proper diagnosis helps in quicker recovery and it helps to visit a chiropractor since they are more skilled to deal with joint conditions and anxiety relieving therapies more than other type of doctor.

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