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What Causes TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorders are generally a product of several factors. In other words, they are thought to have a cause that is “multifactorial.”

Pinpointing the Causes of TMJ Disorder

Causes of TMJ disorders include trauma to the jaw or temporomandibular joint, overbite, underbite, poor posture, tooth damage, malocclusion (misalignment of the upper and lower teeth), stress, and constant gum chewing. Osteoporosis is another potential cause.

Jaw Trauma as a Cause of TMJ Disorder

There are two types of traumatic jaw injuries that can lead to TMJ disorders: microtrauma and macrotrauma. A combination of the two may also cause the disorder. Microtrauma is internal, while macrotrauma is trauma from the outside.

Macrotrauma & Jaw Injury

Macrotrauma can be from a car accident or punch in the face that ultimately leads to jaw dysfunction. When macrotrauma happens, it can cause TMJ dislocation, break the jawbone, or damage the cartilage disc of the joint.

Osteoporosis as a Cause

The jaw joint is susceptible to arthritic changes, just like with other bodily joints. The changes are due to the joint slowly degenerating or breaking down over time as part of the normal aging process. As part of the degenerative joint disease, the jaw joint loses cartilage and slows down development of new bone as a person ages. The loss of cartilage results from many biological and mechanical factors, not from one single cause.

Additional Causes of TMJ Disorder

Another cause to consider when feeling TMJ pain is the anatomical features. Some people are born with this ailment. Also, scar tissue around the TMJ area may create significant issues for them while chewing or biting food, gum, or anything else. With a lot of pressure put on the jaw joint, TMJ pain can be the result. Lastly, take oversized bites can put stress on jaw muscles. Instead, only eat what is fit within a comfortable opening of the mouth, rather than extending the jaw to the point that stress is put on it. If you are concerned about causes of TMJ disorder or having a related issue, please book a specialty consultation with Dr. Moradi. Phone 713-590-9777 to schedule it with our friendly office today.

Microtrauma & TMJ Syndrome

Examples of microtrauma are frequent teeth grinding (called bruxism) or jaw clenching. This internal trauma causes TMJ disorder as a result from the constant hammering on the temporomandibular joint. Over time, this activity can change the alignment of the teeth. The way the muscles move can inflame the membranes around the joint. Bruxism and jaw tightening can occur when stress levels are high for a lengthy time or from the improper bite. Often, teeth grinding occurs during sleep, without awareness it is even occurring, while jaw clenching refers to biting on things or tightening the jaw while awake. Common things people bite on include pencils, pens, fingernails, and sticks of gum.

Bad Posture & TMJ

Slouching or hunching over are examples of poor posture. These types of positions put significant pressure on the spine and also shifts the lower jaw forward. Teeth alignment becomes unbalanced, and pressure is put on the temporomandibular joint. Subsequently, the individual feels TMJ pain.

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