GERD May Be Connected To TMJ Dysfunction

November 1, 2020
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

Do you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD? Do you notice symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction in your jaw, such as stiffness, pain, clicking and popping, headaches, and neck aches? Believe it or not, according to a new study, the two medical conditions may be related.

The study was conducted at The Fourth Military Medical University in Xi’an, China, and published in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association. The study examined data from 1522 adult patients between the ages of 18 and 70. The participants were asked questions pertaining to their sleep habits and psychological health. What the researchers found was that of those patients, 132 patients had GERD, and those 132 patients were at a higher risk for temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Researchers believe that the cause of this was that anxiety, undermined sleep, and somatization may play key roles in the relationship between TMJ dysfunction and GERD. This could be due in part to the stress patients feel from jaw pain, as well as the stress from GERD pain, but also the pain of GERD keeping them up at night.

So what can you do if you have both GERD and TMJ dysfunction? The solution is to address each problem individually. With GERD, speak to your primary care physician or gastroenterologist about solutions that can ease your discomfort and get you back to sleeping comfortably. There are both prescription and over the counter GERD medications that many people have found success with. Speak to your doctor about which solution is best for your individual needs.

For temporomandibular joint dysfunction, Dr. Mingus offers the solutions you want to help align your temporomandibular joint with your jaw and alleviate much of the pain you are feeling that could be keeping you up at night either independent of, or in addition to GERD. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction doesn’t just affect GERD, it can also affect eating, speaking, and even breathing properly.

Solutions for TMJ dysfunction can include custom orthotics, braces, epigenetic treatment, and more. Though there is no one size fits all solution for temporomandibular joint dysfunction, Dr. Mingus can customize a solution for your individual mouth that will have you feeling better.

If you are concerned you may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, please contact Dr. Mingus’ office for a consultation today.