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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is thought to be due to disruption of the function of amygdala where fear and anxiety are processed in the brain. As with many medical diagnoses, GAD is diagnosed if certain symptoms persist for six months or more and other explanations for those symptoms are ‘excluded’. Treatment of GAD typically includes Buspirone or Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor medications.

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating/forgetful
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty controlling the worry
  • Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep

How can TMD / CMD be related to GAD?

Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction (TMD), or more accurately Cranio Mandibular Dysfunction (CMD), refer to poor alignment of the lower jaw to the head and neck. The muscles and joints of the jaw and neck that have to compensate for this mis-alignment, can cause symptoms if a person’s adaptive capacity is exceeded. This mis-alignment is best treated through Physiologic Neuro Muscular Dental (PNMD) correction. Because many symptoms that result from CMD are far removed from the jaw or teeth, these symptoms are ‘diagnosed’ as medical or psychiatric conditions.

The above symptoms for GAD patients are also seen in TMD / CMD patients as well. Case histories of patients that had a GAD diagnosis that also sought treatment for TMD symptoms such as jaw pain, saw compete resolution of GAD symptoms once their TMD was treated through PNMD Orthotic This would support the idea that many patients being treated with medications to manage their GAD are really suffering from TMD / CMD which can be resolved with PNMD.

The autonomic nervous system of our bodies work in one of two conditions at all times.

  1. The parasympathetic mode is when we “rest, repair and rejuvenate”. Secretions such as saliva are induced, the intestines tone and contractility of smooth muscle is increased, and the heart rate is slowed in preparation for digestion and repair.
  2. The sympathetic mode is when in certain situations we are ready for ‘fight or flight’. Adrenalin is pumped into our circulatory system. Our skeletal muscles tighten, the intestines shut down, a decrease in bodily secretions occur, an increase in heart and breathing rates, blood vessels constrict, and the blood pressure goes up. All of this prepares one for action. When stimuli are constant or exaggerated the sympathetic response may be seen as “irritability”.

TMD / CMD often adversely affects the entire posture of a person. As a result, the entire chain of muscles that support our posture have to work in excess to compensate for this postural instability. This keeps the body functioning in a constant sympathetic mode. Is this what physicians are diagnosing as GAD?