Have you ever suffered from a persistent, annoying ache in your jaw? Have you noticed that your jaw sometimes experiences a popping or locking sensation? Such symptoms are characteristic of TMJ disorder in South Windsor. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) controls the movements of your lower jaw and can cause numerous problems when it is not working correctly. While both men and women are vulnerable to TMJ disorder (TMD), nine out of ten people who seek treatment for it are female. Why is this the case, and what role has COVID-19 had in affecting women’s jaw health? Let’s talk about these important questions.
Women and TMD
Most of the women who seek treatment for TMD are between the ages of 18 and 44. Researchers are not sure why this is the case, but many suspect it is related to hormones. For example, women’s hormonal makeup may make them more responsive to emotional experiences than men, which can increase stress and lead to teeth grinding in South Windsor, which in turn can contribute to TMD. Another possible reason for the high prevalence of TMD in women is slight differences in jaw anatomy between the sexes.
On the surface, TMD might seem like it is nothing more than an annoyance for women, but it can lead to dire consequences. It is associated with an increased risk of headaches, migraines, back aches, and other pains throughout the body.
The Role of COVID-19
In discussions about COVID-19 and its effects on our world, people often focus on economic uncertainty, public health risks, and other major issues. However, one consequence of the pandemic that has largely flown under the radar is the increase in jaw pain. Dentists across the United States have noticed a sharp uptick in the number of patients who suffer from such pain.
Many of those patients have begun grinding and clenching their teeth in response to the increased stress that the pandemic has caused. COVID-19 has affected the jaw health of many men and women, and it is likely to continue to do so until life becomes somewhat normal again.
What You Can Do
If you believe that you are suffering from TMD, do not simply try to tough it out. Here are some tips to help you find relief:
- Look for ways to lessen your stress. Many people find that exercise, meditation, and engaging in relaxing recreation are helpful. There is no shame in seeking the help of a professional therapist if necessary.
- Talk to your dentist. Your dentist will analyze your jaw and strive to figure out if any anatomical issues are contributing to your jaw pain. They will recommend a TMD treatment based on what they believe to be the root cause of the problem.
- Manage the symptoms. Taking pain relievers and eating soft foods can help to mitigate jaw pain.
In these uncertain times, TMD is a threat to everyone, especially women of childbearing age. If you believe you are suffering from it, your dentist is ready to help you find relief.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Sara Curcio is a highly accomplished dentist in South Windsor. She offers multiple types of TMD treatment, including custom oral appliances and occlusal adjustments. To learn more about her and how she may be able to help improve your jaw health, contact our practice at 860-644-2476.