Jaw Pain May Have a Psychological Link
When people endure the condition known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ), they often endure severe pain in their jaw, jaw joint, face, neck, shoulders, and ears. They experience these issues when chewing, talking, or simply opening their mouths very wide. While TMJ has typically been blamed on problems with the jaw muscles or habits like tooth grinding, new evidence suggested that this dental care condition may go beyond the body and be based in the mind.
A primary cause of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain may be depression or anxiety, according to The Journal of Pain. This finding was based on five years of studies by a team of researchers at the University of Greifswald in Germany. They examined more than 4,000 patients for their level of TMJ pain and psychiatric health. Their research concluded that joint pain was more likely to be felt in people with signs of depression, while muscle discomfort tended to be felt by people experiencing anxiety.
These findings were attributed to the physical symptoms of depression and anxiety since these two psychological conditions can lead to more activity than usual in the jaw muscles, which can cause inflammation and muscle pain throughout the jaw area. An alternate explanation was that a chemical imbalance in the brains of people with depression and anxiety causes them to process pain in an abnormal way, according to Dr. Stefan Kindler of the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery/plastic surgery at the University of Greifswald.
Research has previously associated TMJ with depression, but this study indicated a strong link between the signs of TMJ and the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
TMJ has typically been treated with medication or physical therapy, but serious cases have called for surgery. An affordable dentist can recommend dental care options to treat the condition and meet any budget.
With this revelation that TMJ may have psychological sources, we all may need to completely change the way that we perceive and relieve TMJ.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Downtown Detroit, call Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue today at (313) 879-4769 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Downtown Detroit. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue.