TMJ disorder can suddenly flare up in people who never experienced symptoms before, especially during stressful times. With COVID-19 on everyone’s mind, stress levels are higher than ever. Unfortunately, stress is one of the main causes of TMJ pain. At Smile Columbia Dentistry, we can diagnose and treat your TMJ symptoms so you can live pain-free.

stressed out man holding hands up to his head and closes his eyes tight

Symptoms of TMJ

It’s normal to feel stressed out right now. We’re uncertain about our future and don’t know how long until we can see our loved ones in-person is again. If you’re feeling stressed out and experiencing any of the following symptoms, TMJ is likely the cause.

How Stress Affects TMJ

You might already suffer from bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth) but not daily or as aggressive. When times of stress come forth, you might find yourself clenching or grinding much more aggressively. This extra pressure on your jaw can then aggravate the jaw joints and cause TMJ. If you’re currently experiencing a TMJ flare-up for the first time, it’s likely that you already had a bruxism habit and the stress of COVID-19 has made it much more severe.

Stress Relief Tips for TMJ Pain Relief

Unfortunately, our dental office is only open for dental emergencies at the moment so we can’t officially diagnose TMJ or create a custom nightguard to wear. However, you can take a few steps to try and relieve your stress during this uncertain time. Relieving stress can help you sleep without grinding your teeth so aggressively which can then help you release pressure on the jaw joints and relieve pain as a result.

Tips for relieving stress during COVID-19

  • Take a daily walk outside
  • Practice yoga or meditation daily
  • Limit your exposure to the news and media
  • Take a hot bath
  • Spend time doing hobbies you enjoy
  • Do a home workout
  • Read a book
  • Spend time with your housemates
  • Video call friends and family

We understand how stressful life currently is. If you find that your TMJ symptoms become worse or unbearable, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Adam Hahn for advice or for an immediate appointment. We will provide you with a solution to help relieve your pain until we can properly diagnose and treat your TMJ. If you find these stress relief tips helpful, you should still plan to visit us for TMJ treatment so that you never experience this pain during times of stress again. If you need us, please call (803) 781-9090 to schedule an appointment.