Can a Dysfunctional Jaw Cause Anxiety?

Dentist in Calgary Serving Northwest, Downtown, and Nearby Calgary, Alberta


Going through crippling anxiety can keep people from having fun, putting themselves out there, taking risks, and all kinds of other things that make life exciting. Among the countless things that can contribute to someone’s anxiety, one of the least likely is their jaw. So how can a dysfunctional jaw cause anxiety?

A Dysfunctional Jaw 

TMD or Temporomandibular joint disorder refers to a collection of symptoms resulting from a dysfunctional lower jaw, be it arthritis, inflammation, trauma or otherwise. 

  • Jaw discomfort or soreness
  • Headaches
  • Pain behind the eyes, in the face, shoulder, neck, and back
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears
  • Jaw clicking or popping

TMD and the Nervous System

One of those symptoms TMD can affect is a person’s posture. When the jaw joint isn’t operating at full capacity, it can cause the surrounding muscles to compensate and cause continuous strain on those muscle groups. This can affect a person’s anxiety because as neck and shoulder muscles endure the strain of a dysfunctional jaw, the nervous system gets stuck in a sympathetic mode, triggering their "fight or flight" response. 

A chronic, unending fight or flight response is then what contributes to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is usually accompanied by symptoms such as feeling:

  • Restlessness
  • Tense
  • Fatigued or tired
  • Irritable
  • Distracted
  • Worried

Contact Evolution Dental Today

If you live in Calgary, Northwest Calgary, Cochrane or other nearby areas of Alberta and would like to learn more about TMD treatment options, you can call Evolution Dental today at 403-768-2433 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kendra Schick.


*all procedures performed at our practice by a general dentist