Facial tension is a common response to stress and can also be linked to a TMJ-related problem.
If you feel stressed, you might experience tension in various parts of your body, such as the face, neck, and shoulders. This tension is a completely natural — and common — response to stress. In fact, when you are emotionally or physically stresses, your body releases certain hormones that trigger the sympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, causes your muscles to contract, and if your muscles remain in this state for an extended period of time, you may develop an ongoing feeling of tension and discomfort.
What are the symptoms of facial tension?
Facial tension is associated with a number of possible symptoms, including a tingling sensation, reddening of the skin and headaches. Headaches that are caused by facial tension often cause a dull pain, as well as a sense of tightness across the forehead and sides of the head.
Facial tingling, which is a fairly common symptom of facial tension, is often caused or exacerbated by anxiety. Similarly, reddening of the facial skin is also often associated with anxiety, a common contributing factor to facial tension.
What is the connection between facial tension and TMJ disorders?
If you are suffering from stress, it is likely that you will tighten the muscles in your jaw and face and/or clench your teeth. These actions can cause pain in your temporomandibular joints and can lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including jaw, face and neck pain. In fact, any stress on the muscles of the face and neck can lead to dysfunction of the TMJ, and if you are in pain, it is advisable that you seek professional help as soon as possible.
What can you do about facial tension?
If you suspect that your level of physical or emotional stress is causing facial tension and other uncomfortable symptoms, it is important that you try to find ways to reduce your stress. You can do this by employing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga and other forms of exercise.
There are also a number of facial exercises that can help to relieve tension in the facial muscles. These exercises are designed to stretch and relax the muscles — speak to your healthcare practitioner if you would like to find out more about these types of movements so you can do them regularly at home.
If your facial tension is causing you jaw pain or other symptoms associated with TMJ disorders, it is advisable that you see a professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Your treatment will depend on the cause of your symptoms and may include a combination of techniques.
How can we help?
If you are suffering from facial tension or any other painful symptoms in your face, jaw, neck, shoulders, or back, we encourage you to come in and see us so that we can determine the cause of your discomfort. The causes of TMJ differ from patient to patient, but are often linked to stresses in other areas of the body, including the head, neck and back. Other common causes include trauma to the TMJ through physical injury, misalignment of the teeth and/or jaw, and clenching or grinding of the teeth.
At TMJ Centre Melbourne, our team of dentists and chiropractors offers a range of services to keep you in optimal health. We can help you deal with TMJ pain and other TMJ-related problems, as well as migraines and sleep concerns such as sleep apnoea. If you are suffering from any of these conditions and are not sure what you can do about your symptoms, we urge you to arrange a consultation so that we can discuss your needs and help you find relief. To find out more about our range of services or to book an appointment, please contact us here or give us a call on (03) 9417 4038.