Is there a connection between TMJ and Pregnancy? There are several factors to consider when answering this question. The answer is yes, however, in different ways. The first is that women who have a pre-existing TMJ condition may exacerbate the problem during and post-pregnancy due to stress. Stress from being pregnant, hormonal issues, and even poor sleep which can lead to more clenching and/or grinding. This additional stress on the jaw and body can lead to worsened TMJ pain and discomfort than before pregnancy.
For those who have not had pre-existing TMJ conditions, the simple additional stresses can lead to clenching and grinding which can overwork the facial muscles. Sometimes it can be necessary for a TMJ dentist to fabricate a nighttime appliance to help manage this.
Another area of concern for TMJ and pregnancy is even postpartum, when new stresses arise. Some of these stresses are lack of a normal sleep pattern and worries about their newborn. Poor sleep can lead to body stress. Finally, sometimes altered sleep position affects the jaw muscles and can lead to facial pain or soreness.
Many women tend to neglect taking care of themselves during pregnancy and postpartum. It is important to continue to take care of oneself too. This includes daily oral health care, exercise, and proper nutrition. Morning sickness and being over-tired do not help in these areas. Even simple stretching and yoga at home helps. Try to do the best you can and enjoy motherhood, it’s a beautiful thing.
If you have any questions about TMJ Disorder and would like to speak to our Houston TMJ Dentist, please feel free to contact Dr. Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF by calling 713-668-2289.