Re: Why does tmj flare up when stressed???
TMJ worsens with stress because the muscles around the jaw and joint tend to tighten up or even spasm. Have you tried a muscle relaxant-an Rx from your Dr? That may be helpful in relieving some of the problem. Also if you have arthritis in the TMJ, an antiinflammatory such as Naproxen OTC twice a day may help. Heat applied to the jaw feels great, and so does massage of the muscles which you can do yourself. Here's a good massage technique- with clean hands, put your right thumb in your mouth on the left side between upper and lower jaw, right where your teeth come together. With your 4 fingers outside your mouth, massage your TMJ using pressure from both inside with your thumb and outside. There is a muscular band inside that you will feel that will feel tense and sore. Try as you massage to consciously let that muscle relax and loosen. Your dentist can also make a bite plate for you to wear at night that will prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth, which makes the TMJ pain worse. Be aware all day long of jaw tension, and purposely let your lower jaw fall and the muscles relax. You can get this to be better. Research TMJ and you will find other tricks for dealing with it from lots pf people who have this condition.