Life Events and TMJ

So often patients complaining of TMJ do not associate it to stress going on in their life. Sometimes it will be caused by a pure structural imbalance either with the cranial bones or cervical bones. But I have found stress to be the biggest initiating factor.

The life events that seem to affect it the most are listed below with numbers that correspond to their intensity.

Death of Spouse 100
Divorce 79
Fired from work 47
Retirement 45
Pregnancy 40
Change in financial state 38
Arguments with spouse 35
Trouble with in-laws 28

Next time you wake up in the morning with tightness in your jaw or find that you are clenching you teeth during the day take a minute to evaluate what might be causing the stress and try to minimize your reaction to the event.

Terry Pfau, DO, HMD

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