There’s no doubt that depression is a common condition in our country today. Millions of people have some form of depression, and it can affect your entire body – including your jaw. In fact, some evidence suggests that having depression and anxiety can make temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain worse.
Depression and Physical Pain
Depression is not just a mental health condition. In fact, it causes severe physical pain in some people. Depression and anxiety may be linked to abnormal processing of pain signals, making pain less tolerable to those who are already suffering from depression.
People with unmanaged depression often lose interest in their favorite activities. They may be more isolated, staying home and declining invitations to spend time with friends or family. For some, it can be hard to simply get out of bed. In addition, dealing with pain can make it even more difficult for someone to participate in activities. The pain can feel overwhelming and add to the emotional symptoms of depression.
Clenching, Grinding, and Depression
Depression may stimulate more movement in the jaw such as clenching or grinding the teeth, which will further aggravate the joint and cause more TMJ problems. Inflammation from grinding can cause jaw pain, headaches, and even neck and shoulder pain.
Teeth grinding can also make it more difficult or even painful to eat. This further exacerbates depression symptoms, as many people with depression already suffer from loss of appetite. A person’s diet and nutrition could suffer, and poor nutrition negatively affects a person’s physical and mental well-being.
Nervous Habits and TMD
It’s already known that certain habits such as nail biting or chewing on objects are tough on your jaw. In some people, these habits alone can lead to TMJ pain. People with depression may be more prone to these so-called “nervous habits,” and the pain they cause can add to the already heavy burden of depression.
Depression Needs Treatment
If you think you may have depression, or your depression isn’t well controlled, we urge you to see your primary care physician to discuss treatment options. Depression is a serious illness that requires medical intervention.
In addition, if you are suffering from TMJ problems or jaw pain, you deserve relief. The staff at MedCenter TMJ can evaluate your issue and help you find solutions to the pain that may be interfering with your life. To find out more about your options, contact MedCenter TMJ to schedule your appointment today!