Do you feel pain anytime you move your jaw? TMJ syndrome might be the culprit. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans are known to suffer from TMJ disorders. Temporomandibular muscle and joint disorder or TMJ syndrome is the leading cause of pain and discomfort around the jawbone. Your temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull. If the temporomandibular joint becomes damaged or stressed, any number of TMJ disorders can arise. Many people with TMJ syndrome report jaw clicking or popping, pain while chewing, swelling in the jaw, nerve inflammation and headaches.
If you suffer from TMJ syndrome, it’s important to be aware of the possible causes. Although doctors and researchers are still trying to determine what causes TMJ disorders, the medical community has uncovered many of the contributing factors that may affect TMJ syndrome.
What Causes TMJ?
The causes of TMJ disorders tend to vary but damage to the temporomandibular joint will most likely play a role. The temporomandibular joint functions using a hinge-like movement with some sliding. Cartilage covers the area where the motion takes place. A small disk separates the bones that interact in the joint, helping the motion stay smooth. TMJ disorders can result from the disk eroding or moving out of place. Arthritis can damage the cartilage around the joint or cause inflammation, leading to TMJ syndrome. Trauma to the jawbone from an accident or injury can also lead to TMJ syndrome. Some dental procedures can also contribute to TMJ disorders in which the jaw is stretched or strained for long periods of time.
Several bad habits are also leading causes of TMJ syndrome including bruxism, grinding of the teeth, and clenching of the jaw or jaw tightening. Stress can cause muscle tension in the mouth and can contribute to jaw clenching. Constant gnawing or chewing on gum, pencils, pens or other hard objects can lead to TMJ syndrome. Poor posture can also be a factor. These tendencies produce constant wear and tear, causing damage to the temporomandibular joint or altering the alignment of the teeth. Some of these habits can be more damaging than others. It’s not exactly clear if some of theses habits are causes of TMD or if they are a result of the disorder. If you suffer from TMJ syndrome, you can help decrease your pain on a daily basis by realizing your bad habits and preventing them in the future.
Schedule a Consultation at Enchanting Dentistry Today
At Enchanting Dentistry, our TMJ specialist can help determine what causes your TMJ. He can relive your symptoms by treating some of the leading causes of TMJ syndrome. Discover a solution to the pain and discomfort in your mouth with the help of a professional. You can overcome your TMJ syndrome and realize your dream of a life without pain. Call us today at 954-DENTIST (336-8478).