Tommy asked in HealthDental · 2 months ago

TMJ/Stress/Eustachian tube question?

Hi all,

I was diagnosed with bruxism (teeth clenching) in my sleep in December 2019. I have gotten a custom night guard and it has been able to stop the heavy pressure at night. I am still having pain some mornings around my jaw joint or if I eat something hard. 

In addition to this, I have been receiving acupuncture to reduce my still tension headaches. They are not going away despite the jaw improvement. The acupuncturist told me I have muscle adhesions on the back of my neck due to posture and months of bruxism. I can feel them with my hands and I have virtually no mobility when turning (my neck feels painful and stuck when I look up or side to side). 

I was in a stressful situation yesterday and my entire neck and jaw tensed up and became inflamed and painful. I wasn't aware it could flare up so quickly (I wasn't clenching). Ever since then, my eustachian tubes have been clogged with lots of crackling when opening my mouth. 

I have signed up for CBT therapy to try to get to some of the underlying stressors. Does anyone know what could be going on? It seems weird how getting mildly stressed can cause so much immediate pain and swelling. And also, any tips on how to break up the muscle adhesion? I feel like this is causing my entire neck/jaw area to be under strain no matter how I feel.

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