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Does Your Jaw Have You Feeling Anxious?


It's the big day. You finally got that job interview, or you're supposed to hear back about that test, or you're waiting for your date to show up to the restaurant you've agreed on. Whatever the "thing" might be, imagining yourself in any of these situations likely emits a particular feeling, anxiety. Your mind is racing, "what if it doesn't go well?" "what if I mess up?" and your heart is racing too; you're almost panicky. For some, this feeling is more familiar than it is for others. For some, this "fight or flight" response is firing on all cylinders, even in everyday situations, but why?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is thought to stem from a disruption in amygdala function, the area in the brain where anxiety is processed. Generalized anxiety disorder can include any combination of the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness, feeling wound-up
  • Muscle tension
  • Feeling easily fatigued and tired
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Having your mind go blank
  • Uncontrollable worrying
  • Falling asleep, staying asleep, or unsatisfying sleep

Where Does the Jaw Fit In?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) has the potential to affect the entire body's posture. It has this influence because of the temporomandibular joint's centralized position in the face. With so many other structures dependent on the balance offered by this joint, deficiencies have wide-spanning consequences. An underdeveloped jaw, or a misaligned jaw, can significantly strain supporting muscles such as those in the neck, shoulders, back, and head.

Muscle strain, in turn, triggers the sympathetic nervous system. When engaged, the sympathetic nervous system tightens muscles, shuts down digestive processes, and increases one's heart and breathing rate. Sound familiar? These symptoms are synonymous with anxiety.

Worried Your Jaw Might Be the Source of Your Anxiety?

If you have questions about how TMD could be affecting your mental health, it might be time to schedule a consultation with a professional. Dr. Buck has years of experience treating patients with TMD and can help you too. Schedule your appointment by calling (425) 409-2086 or visiting our contact page. 

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Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Dentistry has traditionally not considered the airway when planning dental treatments. Fortunately, today there is a rapidly growing movement that now recognizes how dentistry can have an impact on the airway which affects breathing during sleep. If dental treatments, including TMJ, orthopedic and orthodontics are well planned the result can be that the airway is protected or even enhanced. There is a clear link between underdeveloped and retruded jaws together with narrow dental arches that puts a patient at risk for sleep breathing disorders.

Please visit this site for more information; Airway Health

WOW! A 54% decrease in forward head posture; 164% increase in the antero-posterior size of the airway; 176% increase in the lateral size of the airway all from epigenetically centered jaw development orthopedics. This is the future of orthodontics!​