I was diagnosed with TMJ in 2009. I found out I was pregnant last December. Now that I’m in my 5th month I am starting to notice more TMJ pain than usual. I spoke with my dentist about it and he did an exam but didn’t find anything abnormal. I have been very careful about my habits since I found out I am pregnant so I can’t see anything that I am during differently that would increase the pain. Is TMJ known to get worse with pregnancy? Thanks. Isla
Isla – Although studies have not found a link between TMJ and pregnancy, pregnant women often report an increase in symptoms with certain conditions, including TMJ.
Although pregnancy is a joyous time, it is also associated with some stress. Stress can increase teeth grinding or jaw clenching, which in turn can increase TMJ symptoms. You may have more neck and head pain, and your jaw muscles may be sore.
Mineral deficiency can increase the severity of TMJ symptoms. When you’re pregnant, calcium and magnesium are transferred to the developing baby. The lack of these minerals can increase your pain. Be certain to take vitamins and supplements as recommended by your obstetrician.
As your body and posture change to accommodate the baby, TMJ pain may spike. It may be beneficial to have a physical therapy check to help you adjust your posture and decrease your discomfort.
Your TMJ pain may decrease after the delivery. You can alternate applying ice and heat to the sore areas of your jaw or neck. Massages may help, too. If you don’t get any relief, or if the pain and discomfort increase, schedule an appointment with your dentist for an exam.
This blog post is sponsored by Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Joseph Rota.