How Can Work Stress Affect the Risk of Developing TMJ?

Workers Compensation

The past several years have been uniquely taxing on the American workforce. Since the spring of 2020, the employment rate has hit historic highs and lows, millions of Americans shifted to remote working situations for the first time, and the ways in which companies chose to respond to the urgent stresses of the time impacted their employees in an untold number of ways.

If work is stressing you out, you are certainly not alone. 2022 statistics provided by the reputable Gallup survey indicate that only 49% of workers agree with the statement that they are “completely satisfied” with their jobs. This represents a 6% decline from the percentage of workers that agreed with this statement in 2019, before the nature of the American workplace changed so dramatically during the following year. Although 6% doesn’t seem like an Earth-shattering shift, this figure represents the opinions of millions of working people.

Job Stress Affects the Human Body

All stress affects the human body in a number of ways and job-related stress does not operate any differently. If you have a job that is physically demanding, you may find that the wear and tear of your career causes you pain, inflames your joints, disturbs your sleep, affects your appetite, and weighs down your mental health. Even if your job isn’t physically demanding, struggling with the stress of your job can result in tension, headaches, sleep disturbances, and even limitations in your range of motion.

What Is TMJ?

As an experienced TMJ treatment specialist can explain in a more detailed and contextual fashion, temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders manifest as negative symptoms affecting the temporomandibular joint. These twin joints attach someone’s jawbone to their skull on either side of their head. TMJ disorders can potentially impact these joints in a variety of ways. Common side effects of TMJ disorders include pain and/or limited range of motion in the affected joint or joints. The muscles near the joint(s) that control the motion of the jaw are also often affected by TMJ disorders.

How Can Work Stress Affect the Risk of Developing TMJ?

TMJ can result from a singular cause or can develop as a result of multiple influences. For example, arthritis patients may suffer from TMJ due to the level of inflammation affecting their joints generally. Others develop TMJ, for example, due to a combination of genetic predisposition and a habit of grinding their teeth.

If you’re stressed out at work and that is causing you to clench your jaw during the day and/or as you sleep, you could develop TMJ over time. Similarly, if you clench your jaw when engaging in physically-demanding tasks, this could lead to TMJ trouble. There are a host of ways your job-related stress and/or workplace accidents could serve as catalysts for the development of TMJ. As a result, you’ll want to alert your TMJ specialist to any work-related circumstances that could be causing or exacerbating your condition so that they can help you to troubleshoot solutions.

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