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Why does stress make it worse?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by cmclien View Post
    I am very sensitive too. My Dad always would say to me when I was a little girl that I worried about everything and that I was TOO sensitive. I constantly had stomach aches as I think I internalized my worries. In my 20's I developed IBS, IC and TMJ and anxiety which I had never had before. I tend to turn everything inwards and whatever I am feeling in my body I tend to attribute it to a mental state (if that makes sense). So if my stomach feels sick I think I'm anxious etc.

    I suppose it goes back to that article that Jill posted a couple months ago about sensitivities. Its not that we have more stress etc its how some people process stress or what our bodies do with it that is different. Its just a theory at this point but an interesting one.

    I do think its interesting that amitriptyline is also used to treat TMJ.
    I am the exact same! My dad used to say that to me too! And he was always telling me to 'stop saying sorry all the time!' Like if we were playing with a ball and I threw it to someone and THEY dropped it, I'd say 'sorry!' Lol.
    What you said about 'attributing symptoms to a mental state' makes complete sense. I think you are def right to do that...it's a vicous cycle isn't it? Cos stress can bring on a physical problem and then that makes you even more stresssed and makes the problem even worse! Argggh!!! Sometimes it feels like theres no way out of it.
    I also agree with your theory about sensitivities and processing stress. When I look back on my life I can see that I was NEVER good at processing stress.

    I think threads like this really help to build up a more complete picture of the differrent types of IC sufferrers, like a profile. I def think we belong to the same group! I wish doctors would spend more time linking together all the clues.

    Gina - Glad your TMJ has calmed down. Hope it stays away for good!

    Jem x

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  • ginaaa22
    replied
    After my one bad bout with TMJ I havent had many flares (thank god) I do have a nightguard that I wear when it acts up and it helps. I developed TMJ a couple months after I got diagnosed, possibly because of the stress like some of you have mentioned. Very interesting....I've just noticed I've seen about 5 people on here who have it and I found it odd. I found out from an ENT when they couldnt find anything wrong with me other than my jaw pooping.

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  • cmclien
    replied
    Originally posted by Jem View Post
    I am DEF a natural born worrier. I have been since I was little. I'd go as far as to say it is one of my defining characteristics! Maybe people who have IC become more stressed and develop TMJ as a result..?
    I def developed TMJ several years after IC. IC was the first conditon I developed and as it gradually got worse, I then developed pelvic floor disfunction and TMJ....
    I am very sensitive too. My Dad always would say to me when I was a little girl that I worried about everything and that I was TOO sensitive. I constantly had stomach aches as I think I internalized my worries. In my 20's I developed IBS, IC and TMJ and anxiety which I had never had before. I tend to turn everything inwards and whatever I am feeling in my body I tend to attribute it to a mental state (if that makes sense). So if my stomach feels sick I think I'm anxious etc.

    I suppose it goes back to that article that Jill posted a couple months ago about sensitivities. Its not that we have more stress etc its how some people process stress or what our bodies do with it that is different. Its just a theory at this point but an interesting one.

    I do think its interesting that amitriptyline is also used to treat TMJ.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    This is a FASCINATING topic guys! First off, I'd like to say in response to Sandra's question, I am DEF a natural born worrier. I have been since I was little. I'd go as far as to say it is one of my defining characteristics! So I am def much more prone to stress and stress related conditions.
    I also have TMJ and constantly feel the need to clench my teeth together, exactly as Katie B and Cindi describe. My dentist was actually really good at diagnosing it. At first I had no idea why my jaw was always so sore and tense, and she told me immediately that it was due to grinding my teeth at night AND clenching my jaw. I hadn't even realised I was doing it. I now wear a night guard. But I still find myself clenching constantly during the day. Weirdly, when I am feeling anxious or stressed, I find that clenching my teeth firmly together seems to help me to cope. But it's really uncomfortable and so bad for my teeth and gums.
    I also find the correlation between IC and TMJ interesting. In science, a correlation is classed as 'a connection between two or more things, often one in which one of them causes or influences the other.' The correlation may therefore exist in one direction, but not neccessarily the other. This means that a high number of people with IC may be more likely to also have TMJ. However, people with TMJ may not be any more likely than the rest of the population to have IC. So, if you did a poll of an IC forum, a high percentage of users would also have TMJ. But if you did a poll of a TMJ sufferrers forum, you may find that not many of them have IC.
    Maybe people who have IC become more stressed and develop TMJ as a result..?
    I def developed TMJ several years after IC. IC was the first conditon I developed and as it gradually got worse, I then developed pelvic floor disfunction and TMJ....

    I'm so glad I read this post cos I've been feeling really worried about my teeth clenching the last few days. I feel so relieved that I'm not the only one. Like Sandra, I also find my jaw gets sore when I eat certain things. With me it's toffee or caramel or doughy cakes/donuts.

    Jem x

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  • ICNDonna
    replied
    I don't think the percentage of ICers having TMJ is any higher than the general population. I know of at least four people I see regularly who have TMJ and none of them have IC.

    Donna

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  • cmclien
    replied
    Yes, you're right, I forgot about a poor bite being a culprit in it. I do think its interesting that alot of ICers have TMJ which makes me think its more then mechanical.

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  • ICNDonna
    replied
    TMJ is not always caused by clenching or grinding. Mine was caused by what I now know was poor dental work that skewed by bite. The dental work was done many years ago and it took a long time for the cartilage in my jaws to shift. Once the cartilage was repaired, most of the TMJ pain is gone. I do still wear a splint at night to correct my bite.

    Donna

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  • cmclien
    replied
    TMJ pain can radiate up to your ear. It really is caused by unknown clenching. I only say unknown because you are asleep when you do it. I never would have known if I didn't have jaw pain and before that tooth pain. I don't clench during the day, only when I am asleep. I don't find myself with teeth clenched either during the day. I cannot chew gum either anymore, haven't been able to for a long time. Its almost easier if you are a grinder because then the dentist can see signs of it.
    Last night I took a super low dose of amitriptyline (6mg) and didn't clench at all because I slept so deeply. At least I don't "think" I clenched but I read it can be used to treat TMJ. I was groggy all day today, my login should be medwimp

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  • ginaaa22
    replied
    I have also had TMJ but I dont do either thing, clenching or grinding. I felt like I had a horrible ear infection and it was TMJ.

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  • izazen
    replied
    I posted an article today which confirms my own theory - stress/anxiety causes inflammation and that makes the condition worse be it an inflamed bladder or colon. Then the more you get stressed - the worse the inflammation and on and on.

    I have both.

    Leave a comment:


  • VickiB
    replied
    Originally posted by sailawaygrl View Post
    Question How many of you feel like you are "high strung" or prone to stress?
    I would say I am not that way by nature. I tend to lean towards the "happy go lucky" type and believe I don't take unchangeable events to heart as seriously as others do.

    I put a fair amount of effort into avoidance, not taking on situations where the expectations exist while my options with which to fulfill are being limited.

    Leave a comment:


  • sailawaygrl
    replied
    I have cracked several of my teeth from clenching. I don't have a night guard but I really need one. I have clenched my teeth for as long as I can remember. I can't chew gum at all because it hurts my jaws.

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  • cmclien
    replied
    I'm surprised your dentist didn't know you can be a clencher and not a grinder. I had a number of crowns done because I was damaging my teeth that way. I actually really like the nightguard because it gives me something to clench on besides my teeth! I hope they made you one. If my nightguard is off I get terrible jaw and neck pain.

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  • KatieB
    replied
    Originally posted by cmclien View Post
    Stress doesn't bother my IC, maybe that points to some PFD? Not sure. I'm not saying stress doesn't effect me! I have TMJ and IBS. My TMJ definitely gets worse when I'm under stress, good thing I have that night guard since I clench my teeth when I sleep! Also, when I'm under unhappy stress I totally lose my appetite, get nauseas and sometimes have diarrhea.
    Cindi, I have TMJ too. And I "clench" my teeth too which is frustrating because I had a hard time making my doctor and (to a point, my dentist) understand because everyone thinks you have to "grind your teeth. But I clench them SO hard that my jaws have the muscles of a linebacker!!!

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  • kadi
    replied
    Me too...

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