It is not uncommon for teenagers to experience high levels of stress. Papers, tests, projects, graduation, extracurricular activities, and other responsibilities can really leave a toll on someone who is not equipped to handle that much stress. This added stress can affect the way teens eat, sleep, and study. This can lead to temporomandibular joint problems, also known as TMJ. While TMJ can also be a sign of an underlying structural problem within the muscles that control the jaw, for teenagers it is most often caused by their lifestyle. If your teen has mentioned how much the joints in his or her jaw hurt, schedule an appointment to see our TMJ dentist.
The first thing our dentist will tell your child is that he or she is most likely experiencing joint problems due to the stress they are getting from school, work, and home. Usually, this is enough to get them to realize that the stress is causing them to grind their teeth, which can contribute significantly to painful joints. It may also help for your teen to take over-the-counter pain relievers. And if the problems persist, they can perform simple physical therapy exercises on their own.
The stress in your life will most likely pass soon enough, but always feel free to see our expert in TMJ in Thousand Oaks if you have any concerns.