Allen Creek Family Dentistry

The Link between Stress and TMJ in Marysville

The Link between Stress and TMJ in Marysville

No one should have to live with the chronic pain of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ. The discomfort can often make ordinary activities, such as eating and talking, difficult. In turn, this can lead to unnecessary stress, which can worsen your TMJ in Marysville. Unfortunately, this is a perfect example of a vicious cycle that is hard to break. That’s why the dentists at Allen Creek Family Dentistry offer TMJ therapy. Read on to learn more about the link between stress and TMJ and treatment. 

What Is TMJ Disorder?

 TMJ disorder, also called TMD, impacts the joints that act like hinges connecting the lower or mandibular jaw and the temporal bone of the skull. You can locate these joints easily by placing your fingers on either side of your face just in front of your ears. Open and close a couple of times and you will feel these joints working. When functioning properly, the temporomandibular joints allow you to open and close your mouth smoothly, so you can speak, eat, laugh and yawn. However, a malfunctioning joint can cause pain and discomfort.

Stress and TMJ

Imagine yourself stuck in traffic, and try to think about how your body responds to the stress of knowing you will be late. Perhaps you find yourself clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth. This is a reaction that you may not even be aware of at the time. However, it demonstrates the link between stress and TMJ. You feel stressed, so you grind and clench your teeth, which creates pain and muscle tension in your jaw. The pain and tension add to your stress, and so the vicious cycle continues. 

TMJ’s Symptoms

Most often, TMJ causes pain when you open your mouth. Depending on the severity of the condition, the pain can be intense. Other common symptoms include:

  • Feeling like your jaw locks when you open or close
  • A popping or clicking sound when you move your jaw
  • Swelling around the joint
  • A feeling that your facial muscles are weak
  • Headaches
  • Sensitive teeth but no sign of decay or infection

Treatment for TMJ

TMJ therapy in Marysville may include prescribing a custom-fitted oral appliance that you will wear while you sleep each night. Often called a nightguard, this comfortable appliance shields your upper and lower teeth from the pressure of grinding and clenching. Other home remedies include:

  • Gently massaging the joint to relax the muscle and stimulate blood flow
  • Yoga to reduce stress
  • Taking small bites when having a meal 
  • Eating on both sides of your mouth
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain and swelling

You do not have to live with the vicious cycle of TMJ pain and stress. A nightguard can provide relief. Call your dentist today to schedule a consultation.

Meet the Practice

At Allen Creek Family Dentistry, our dentists provide preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry, so you can have a healthy mouth and a healthy body and mind. TMJ Therapy can help you eliminate painful symptoms that may lead to stress that interferes with your quality of life. Call our office today to schedule a visit.


6618 64th St. NE, Suite C, Marysville, WA 98270

Office Hours

MON 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

TUE 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

WED 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

THU 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch


Phone: (360) 651-2900