Currently, the entire country is experiencing more stress than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress can impact many aspects of the body and mind, but it has a particular impact on sufferers of TMJ disorders. Dr. Jose Gil, a dentist in Allentown, PA, lets you know what people with TMJ disorders should keep an eye out for during this time.
Increased Pain and Headaches
More stress means it’s likely that you’re clenching and grinding your teeth more. This leads to pain in the jaw, face, ear, and possibly tension pain in the neck and shoulders. You may have more headaches when you wake up or throughout the day.
To help with this, there are massage techniques that specifically help with the pain and complications. Try looking these up and trying them out at home. If you’re in isolation with a partner or family member, they may be able to help you with the exercises.
Trouble With Jaw Function
Extra stress can make other symptoms of TMJ disorders flare up as well. Popping and clicking sounds of your jaw may intensify. You can have trouble opening and closing your mouth, which can mean issues with speaking or eating. If you notice yourself clenching your teeth throughout the day, work on consciously making sure your jaw is relaxed. This can help the function of your jaw.
Wear on Teeth
With more grinding and clenching comes more wear and tear on your smile. If you’re grinding for long periods of time, you’re gradually going to wear down your teeth. However, there could be more severe consequences of the extra pressure. Chips, cracks, and breaks could all happen.
The severity of the chips could range from cosmetic to extremely problematic for your smile. If you have a break that exposes the pulp of your tooth, you’ll experience a lot of pain. In this case, call us immediately for emergency dental care. Even with the pandemic, we’re still providing emergency services for our patients.
Your Allentown, Pennsylvania Dentist
We want to make sure you’re handling the stress as best as you can in this trying time. When the pandemic is over, come in for a checkup to ensure that it hasn’t wreaked havoc on your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online. We hope to see you soon!