Stress and TMJ are tightly linked. Traditionally it was assumed bad stress was a leading cause of temperament or disorders and what has been termed the “Psychosocial” model of causal factors in pain management and TMD has been expounded by many practitioners.
Certainly we live in a society of many stressors in a fast-paced world where we typically are not far away from the constant barrage of e-mails and requirements of life that keep us pushing ourselves harder and harder, feeling that were never achieving all our necessary chores in our lives.
This stressful way of living can create tensions in the body particularly clenching the jaw and the overuse of the muscles of mastication with an increase in pressure in the teeth and jaw joint. This summarization can become a factor in the development of inflammation and breakdown of the muscles life events and joint system.
We now know that there are also other factors that lead to clinching and bruxism particularly during sleep. These factors involved compromise is in the airway during sleep. Research shows a 70% correlation with people who have obstructive sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome and nocturnal bruxism. It is now considered that nocturnal bruxism is often a power functional habit of going there is a very good is it really a good usage of the mandible in an attempt to maintain a patent airway during sleep.
As with any chronic disease and reduction of stress and strain in the body creates a healthier environment. Stress hormones in particular cortisol have been found to have a detrimental effect on everything from cutting off nourishment to the brain as well as creating strains on multiple organ systems and the entire immune system of the body. Wise management of life stresses is a very important health skill to cultivate for all human beings.
Dr. Abramson’s work in lecturing and training in stress reduction is known throughout the community and he has lectured worldwide on these important issues.