Ugh, it’s that time again. It’s back-to-school madness. With all the events of getting back into school and buying supplies, it can be extremely stressful. However, when stress occurs you might also experience pain–from headaches to jaw pain. And when pain occurs, diagnosis and treatment are necessary. Whether it is simply stress related or if it is a disorder like TMD, it is important to visit your dentist for more information and proper relief from pain.

What is TMD?

TMD occurs when difficulties arise with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles. Since you utilize these muscles on a daily basis, it becomes a problem very quickly. Without the proper function of these muscles, you will be in pain for a good chunk of the day, and it will be hard to perform daily activities.

Oftentimes, avoiding this condition is impossible because of the pain it causes. This is a disorder that is often overlooked, but it can be very serious if left untreated. If you think you are suffering from TMD, take note of these signs:

● Pain when chewing
● Pain when talking
● Clicking/popping in the jaw
● Pain/tenderness in the jaw region
● Lock-jaw

Keeping an eye out for these issues is key to identifying this disorder. If you notice yourself experiencing these symptoms of TMD, contact your doctor as soon as possible so you can receive the proper medical treatment.

How to Find Stress Relief

While stress can be overbearing, it is important to find some sort of relief and relaxation. When you’re stressed, don’t let it get the best of you because it can take a toll on your overall and oral health. Here are a couple ways you can help to relieve your stress for an improved lifestyle and health:

Listen to Music – Relieving stress could be as simple as listening to music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, which can help to lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
Call a Friend – Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle, and there is no time that is more evident than when you are under a lot of stress. By hearing a reassuring voice, it can really help you put everything in perspective again.
Eat Right – Food can play a role in your stress and how you manage it. Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. Unfortunately, it’s when we have the most work that we forget to eat well and resort to using sugary, fatty snack foods as pick-me-ups. Put together fruits and vegetables, and add in fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids—a tuna sandwich really is brain food!
Exercise – Exercise doesn’t have to mean power lifting at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the office or simply standing up to stretch during a break at work can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation. By getting your blood moving, endorphins are released—this can improve your mood almost immediately.

Don’t let stress get the best of you. Contact Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on stress, how it affects your health, TMD, and what you can do to relieve pain.