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working and headaches

Is Working too much Causing your Headaches?


Workaholism is a real addiction that can wreak havoc on your health, and 10% of Americans suffer from it. Some workplaces celebrate overwork as if 70 hours a week is a good thing. Workaholism is like waging war on one’s body and mind, and it can cause adverse health effects. So, our Lake Forest dentists who treat TMJ disorder at Lake Forest Smiles share on the blog today if working too much could be causing your headaches and what you can do to make your life pain-free once again.

How does workaholism cause a headache?

Workaholism affects the body, like alcoholism or cigarette addiction. When an addiction receives satisfaction, the body releases adrenaline. The chronically elevated adrenaline levels can increase your body’s stress and can be manifested in the oral and maxillofacial areas, especially in the temporomandibular joint that connects your jaw to your skull. Typically, people with increased stress levels grind and gnash their teeth while sleeping as a stress-release activity. Unfortunately, it can damage your teeth and drastically impact your jaw joints, resulting in pain in your jaw, head, neck, or upper back.

What are workaholism symptoms?

Work addiction is called workaholism, and it can cause personal problems. Overcommitment to work may cause individuals to disregard soft skills essential for team success, which can hinder professional success. Also, work disappointments can add to the stress. Our Lincolnshire TMJ dentists share below how a work addiction may manifest in your life so that you can stop the addiction early.

Work addiction may manifest as the following:

  • Long, unproductive hours
  • Working more hours without rest, food, or exercise.
  • Professionalism obsession
  • Professional rejection-induced depression
  • Job-related anxiety
  • Having a bad attitude toward low-hours workers
  • Putting business before relationships
  • Relying on work to deal with problems
  • Choosing a career over personal interests

Effort and career dedication are admirable, but only until other things suffer. Peak workplace performance requires rest, rejuvenation, and health monitoring outside of work. TMJ may be a sign that you need to improve your health and work-life balance.

How is TMJ related to workaholism?

Stiffness indicates the body’s stress reaction or breakdown. Rigidity is indicated by clenched fists, crossed legs, and a stiff gait. Under stress, the body tenses up to prepare for the next threat or challenge and may forget how to relax. Anxiety and tension often manifest physically as clenched jaw and teeth-grinding, which can lead to health problems, including TMJ (TMJ). Stress-related TMJ can cause headaches, facial pain around the ear or cheek, joint locking, and chewing problems.

How does stress affect me if I work from home?

Many office workers fantasize about working from home because they feel it’s less stressful. Working from home means more time at the desk without a workload reduction. Workaholics rarely set limits on when they can work, and home breaks may be harder than at work. Workaholics who work from home see their families less, which may worsen TMJ stress. On the other hand, it may also mean fewer necessary migraine treatments due to reduced office stress. However, if OTC pain relievers don’t work or only for a little while, it’s time to schedule a consultation with our TMJ dentists in Lake Bluff for an examination and treatment.

What treatments are available for TMJ headaches and pain?

Workaholism requires a separate diagnosis and long-term therapy to relieve TMJ pain. A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS machine can massage stiff face and jaw muscles so that they relax. For some, that may be enough to correct the issue. But, if jaw strain and headaches persist after therapy, we may need to consider other options. Orthotics, also called a bite splint, may keep your jaw in a relaxed position, relieving muscle and nerve stress that accompanies workaholism and results in expedited tooth wear.

TMJ Treatment in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire

Work is an important aspect of your life, but it shouldn’t be your whole life. Extremely stressful situations and jobs can dramatically impact your mental and physical health. When your body’s consistently stressed without a release, it can manifest in your jaw joints as a painful disorder known as TMD. If you or someone you know is a workaholic and complains of constant headaches, contact our Lake Forest TMJ dentists at Lake Forest Smiles for consultation and treatment recommendations. Please call us at (847) 234-4800 or contact us online to request an appointment today.

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