Suffering from any health condition can directly affect your everyday life. You may suffer from health issues that are mental, physical, or even emotional – leaving you wondering if they are somehow linked. This assumption may not be far from the truth.

If you are experiencing some common symptoms of TMJ in Kansas City – such as ear or jaw pain – all signs may point to this jaw disorder as the culprit. But what about the more surprising symptoms – or even causes – of this Kansas City, MO, jaw disorder? The increase of anxiety attacks you have been experiencing – in combination with your jaw pain – may go hand in hand.

The Unexpected TMJ Symptom

Temporomandibular joint disorder – better known as TMJ – is a jaw disorder that directly affects the health and function of your jawbone. The temporomandibular joint comprises the two joints on each side of your head in front of your ears, connecting your skull to your jawbone. This joint acts like a sliding hinge, allowing you to open and close your jaw for everyday activities like eating or speaking.

When the temporomandibular joint is not functioning correctly, this leads to TMJ, which can be characterized by numerous unpleasant symptoms, such as:

    • Bruxism – clenching or grinding of the teeth
    • Clicking or popping of the jaw
    • Ear pain
    • Facial pain
    • Jaw pain
    • Lockjaw – making it difficult to chew or speak
    • And 
    • Anxiety or Stress

The last TMJ symptom on the list may surprise you, but the link between your TMJ and increased anxiety may be closer than you think.

The Correlation Between These Two Conditions

Anxiety is common, and most of us will experience it at one point in our lives. Some common symptoms of anxiety may include the following:

  • Constantly feeling on-edge
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Headaches, muscle aches, and other unexplainable bodily pains

When anxiety becomes a daily occurrence, it goes beyond the threshold of typical worrying and may start interfering with your daily activities and overall well-being. Specific symptoms of TMJ may trigger anxiety in Kansas City, such as headaches or tinnitus. Also, dealing with the symptoms of TMJ can cause you to become anxious or stressed due to having to go about your day in constant discomfort and pain.

Here are two possible ways that poor jaw alignment (TMJ) can lead to anxiety as a symptom: 

  1. If the jaw is poorly aligned – narrow upper jaw, the lower jaw too far back – it often reduces the space available for the tongue to function. This leads to a forward neck posture as compensation to get the tongue out of the throat and keep the airway open – while awake and upright. During sleep, the airway collapses, leading to a sympathetic “fight or flight” response. Stress hormones are released in the bloodstream and linger throughout the day.
  2. Forward neck posture often affects the entire postural chain to feet. Clenching teeth temporarily improves balance. The muscles have to constantly work to keep from losing balance. This can also lead to increased anxiety throughout the day.

Stress Can Also Cause TMJ in Kansas City

Just as the uncomfortable symptoms of TMJ can lead to anxiety, constant anxiety and stress can lead to the development of TMJ. Grinding your teeth (bruxism) or clenching your jaw due to anxiety can lead to jaw misalignment and, thus, an eventual TMJ diagnosis.

It is no secret that anxiety and stress can start to affect not only your mental state but they can also start to affect your physical condition. Anxiety can manifest as jaw pain, headaches, and teeth grinding, revealing that the symptoms of anxiety and TMJ in Kansas City can often overlap. Receiving TMJ treatment from your Kansas City TMJ dentist can be the answer to controlling both your anxiety and TMJ pain.

Kansas City TMJ Treatment Could Be The Solution

If you have been experiencing anxiety and jaw pain, TMJ treatment may bring much-needed relief. Whether your TMJ is causing your anxiety or vice-versa, Kansas City TMJ treatment can answer your daily pain and discomfort. 

Are you ready to ease your anxiety and TMJ with one treatment? It’s time to schedule an appointment with Kansas City TMJ dentist Dr. Prabu Raman of Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep. Dr. Raman can help you achieve optimal dental health and jaw function through his experience in Neuromuscular Dentistry.

Please call (816) 436-4422 to schedule an appointment or use our online form. Your Kansas City, MO, TMJ dentist – Dr. Raman – is ready to get to the root of your jaw pain and anxiety through effective TMJ treatment!