TMJ disorder can affect just about anyone; however, since the condition causes numerous vague symptoms, patients are often improperly diagnosed. To help create better ways to identify potential cases of temporomandibular joint disorder, German researchers recently performed a study evaluating the link between TMD, anxiety and depression. Ultimately, the study yielded some interesting results; however, it also raised some additional questions.
A Noticeable Association
Researchers at the University of Greifswal in Germany recently conducted a study looking at the association between depression, anxiety and TMJ pain. After analyzing more than 3,000 participants, the researchers determined that anxiety and depression should be considered as risk factors for TMD, while also suggesting that health professionals may be able to indirectly treat the latter by treating anxiety and depression.
The Chicken or the Egg?
While this recent study does appear to show a link between anxiety, depression and TMJ disorder; it leaves one important question unanswered: what’s causing what? In this particular case, researchers seem to believe that patients’ emotional distress somehow manifests itself as TMJ pain; however, most often, it’s the other way around.
Since TMJ disorder causes a variety of symptoms that can make life miserable, it often promotes anxiety and depression. Quite often, when people find a treatment that relieves TMD, their emotional issues tend to subside.
Focusing on the Source Cause
TMJ disorder isn’t a psychological issue that results from emotional distress; it’s a physical problem that demands a real solution. Although it may cause all kinds of vague symptoms, temporomandibular joint disorder originates within the jaw joint. More often than not, every single unpleasant symptom traces back to one problem: a bad bite. By correcting this problem, Dr. Dunayer is able to offer real, long-term TMJ relief that lets his patients enjoy a better life. To learn more, contact his office today.