The temporomandibular joints are the joints where the lower jaw is attached to the skull. They are frequently referred to as TMJ. They are the movable part you can feel when you open and close your mouth while placing your hands next to your ears. These joints are involved in a wide range of motions, including chewing, swallowing, and speaking. A disorder of these joints, abbreviated TMD, is called temporomandibular joint disorder.
One of the main causes of TMD is stress. Recently, the number of those diagnosed with TMD has increased because of stress at work or school. This is often caused by a heavy workload or overwhelming tasks.
When we are under a lot of stress, the sympathetic nerves are activated. These nerves help us get ready to run away or fight against enemies. That is why the upper body muscles are strained for fighting and the lower body muscles are relaxed for running away. The digestive system is unnecessary for such an emergency, so it shuts down.
When the muscles of the shoulders, neck, head, and other parts of the upper body are strained, the muscles of the jaw are also affected. Therefore, both mental and physical stress can trigger strain in our upper body and cause pain in the jaw.
Early symptoms of this jaw joint disorder include the occurrence of sounds and pain when the mouth is opened and closed. If such, symptoms are neglected, they can appear in other body parts such as the face, back, and spine.
Dr. Park Geun Young, a doctor of Oriental medicine, says receiving a proper diagnosis and cure can help patients not only recover from jaw pain but also regain overall health.
To prevent this jaw disorder, regular exercise and good posture are recommended.
Walking fast is especially recommended as a good exercise to combat this, because it allows the use of both sides of the pelvis equally and efficiently. It also helps us to relax the lower part of the jaw joint and improve the muscles associated with the jaw. Avoiding tough, hard food and giving up the habit of crossing one’s legs are a few other things that are suggested to prevent this jaw joint disorder from occurring.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor right away instead of just hoping it will go away on its own.