Learn All About the Causes of TMJ

Learn All About the Causes of TMJ

May 01, 2020

When we talk of dental care, many people think of it as referring to caring for teeth. While this is true, it is not in entirety the whole truth. The oral cavity contains many different parts, all of which require attention. T. Lance Collier, DMD, LLC will tell you that most people succumb to oral problems because they do not even regard them as worthy of care. For example, did you know that there is such a thing as temporomandibular joint dysfunction? TMJ treatment is offered in Columbus, GA in dentistry, as the temporomandibular joint is a part of the oral cavity.

What is TMJ Dysfunction?

It is a condition that features the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. This joint is located in front of the ears on both sides. It connects the jaw to your skull. It is the joint that is responsible for the movement of the upper and lower jaw. If it is not functioning properly, you will have problems going about normal functions of the mouth.

TMJ is not a very common problem. More often than not, the pain involved with this joint is temporal. Few people experience the dysfunction of this joint. As you seek TMJ pain relief, one of the most important things to note is the cause and symptoms of TMJ disorder, commonly called TMD. Lucky for you, we discuss all the causes of the disorder, and how you can track it.

What Are the Symptoms of TMD?

TMD manifests differently among patients. The differences will be evident at different intervals, depending on how severe your disorder is. Some of the common symptoms among patients include the following:

  • Jaw pain – this is perhaps the most common sign of TMD. Patients experience pain on the jaw, especially when trying to put their mouths to work. The pain is evident when chewing, laughing, yawning, and biting on foods.
  • Tingling and pain in the ears – since this joint is located right in front of the ears, it explains why you may experience discomfort in your ears. Most patients also report hearing sounds when moving the jaw up and down.
  • Migraine headaches – the pain in the joint area will eventually affect your facial muscles and head in general. This explains why you are likely to have migraine headaches. They intensify by the day, as your disorder heightens in severity.
  • Jaw lock – this happens to a few patients. It is an alarming situation because the lower and upper jaw are usually stuck on the open mouth position. Efforts to yawn, laugh and talk become intimidating and scary.

What Causes TMD?

It is not enough to know that you have a joint disorder. It helps to know how you got it, so you can learn about preventing it. If you are lucky, your symptoms will disappear after a couple of days. This is specific to those patients who do not have serious causes of the pain. For example, lying on a hard surface can put a lot of pressure on your facial muscles, causing pain in the TMJ. However, this is only temporary. The pain is likely to disappear after a day or two. However, there are other major causes of TMD. These causes can have lasting effects on your TMJ.

  • Bruxism – this is a condition that is caused by excessive teeth grinding. It happens to patients who grind their teeth at night. Some patients are aware of their teeth grinding. While others are oblivious.
  • Injury or accident – sometimes the pain you experience in your TMJ has nothing to do with teeth grinding. A traumatic injury or accident can have the same effect on your joint. It can cause a displacement of the discs in this joint, which is a major reason for dysfunction. Technically, wearing a mouthguard can help protect you from the severity of the joint disorder.
  • Poor posture – the way to you position your neck and face can hurt your joint. This is because it causes a strain on your facial muscles.
  • Stress – stressing over something for too long can expose you to the risk of temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The reason behind it is that stress causes you to clench your face too much. This puts a strain on your facial muscles, eventually hurting your TMJ.
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