Stress and TMJ

Dentists are noticing an alarming increase these days in people who are grinding (gnashing) their teeth. The medical term is called “tempro-mandibular joint dysfunction” (TMJ or TMJD). Most people who have TMJ don’t even know they do this behavior, because the grinding takes place while they’re fast asleep (if you have ever heard someone doing this late at night, the sound would wake the dead, but oddly enough the person doing it cannot hear it!). TMJ can also manifest as a change in one’s bite, thus affecting the position of one’s teeth in the mouth. Hence, this can cause all kinds of dental (and health) complications. While professionals in the dental field will recommend mouth guards to prevent the damage to dental bone tissue, be aware that TMJ is known in stress management circles as the symptom of unresolved (suppressed) anger issues (often latent anger). Mouth guards for TMJ don’t resolve the cause of the problem!

Stress Tip of the Day:
One sign of TMJ is waking up each morning with a headache, and of course tension in the jaw muscles. Your dentist can certainly tell through x-rays (but you have to actually go to the dentist first!) If you suffer from TMJ, consider addressing both the symptoms AND the cause of the problem. Biofeedback is a great method for learning to decrease muscle tension in the jaw muscles. Classical (5-element) acupuncture is also highly recommended and in many cases can do wonders). First and foremost, work to uncover the source of mismanaged anger and then resolve it asap!

Links/Books Worth Noting:
One book I highly recommend on the topic of anger is Harriet Learner’s The Dance of Anger. Another book to add to your library is Forgive for Good, by Frank Luskin.

Photo of the Day:
Having just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. to speak at the 104th Annual Conference of the American Association of Orthodontists, I managed to do a little sight-seeing in our Nation’s Capitol including a nighttime stroll by the White House. Lots of stress here! I am not sure if Obama has TMJ, but have you seen how much Presidents age while in office?

Quote for the Day:
“The body becomes the battlefield for the war-games of the mind.” — Brian Luke Seaward

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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