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  • Dr. David Alfaro

Stress, Yoga and Your Smile

Phone bill due.......

Student loans........

Housing prices......

Kids are screaming.......

Colton is the new bachelor.....

Everyone I know is battling stress every day and believe it or not, how we respond to these stressors can have a big impact on our oral health. Many of my patients complain of sore jaw joints or tender head and neck muscles, and they often report clenching and grinding their teeth. These are all signs and symptoms of a group of problems termed Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD).

Just like everything in dentistry, there are many philosophies on the management of TMD. Some offices believe that these problems are strictly related to the bite or the position of the jaw joint, and focus on dental solutions. This is the old school approach.

There is plenty of newer evidence, however, showing that TMD and stress are highly correlated, and that a proper evaluation is not complete without a discussion of stress management strategies.

This is often where we start at our office. When someone comes in complaining of something that sounds like TMD we discuss stress management techniques, and one of the things we recommend to our patients is YOGA!

Yoga has been shown to decrease various negative responses to stress including cortisol levels, blood pressure and inflammation. Reducing these stress responses is great goal for anyone!

When people visit our office and mention they have "TMD", on top of a dental check up we make sure we have a chat about doing the little things in life that help reduce stress. We all need to take a little more time for ourselves, do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Dave

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