Is this in my head, or what? I feel like my TMJ has gotten much worse during my pregnancy. I have dealt with TMJ pain on and off for years and finally was happy with how I’d been feeling. But as I get further along into my pregnancy, the pain will not let up. Have you ever heard of this? I feel like I’m starting all over again.
-Jess in New Jersey
TMJ pain can be debilitating. Sorry to inform you that many women report increased TMJ pain during pregnancy. This may result from increased flare ups for varying reasons. Some researchers think that the pain may be associated with increases in stress which may in turn lead to grinding or clenching more during sleep. These behaviors result in TMJ headaches, jaw pain, and damage to teeth. Moms-t0-be can also be undernourished in vitamin and mineral intake because you are also supporting the developing baby. There is another theory that some people claim that since the body’s equilibrium is changing as the body grows that this affects posture, which causes some TMJ issues.
Hopefully your body continues to adapt. But in the meantime it may be worth your while to meet with the TMJ specialist or TMJ dentist that you were working with the last time you had your pain under control. You didn’t mention how far along you are and also what TMJ treatment you were doing. An experienced doctor may have some helpful ideas in addition to alternating heat and ice packs, as well as massages to reduce stress.
Thank you for your question.
This post is sponsored by Barrington dentist Dr. James T. Gavrilos, DDS.