3 Reasons Behind TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder, also known as TMD or TMJD, is a condition that causes pain in the jaw
joint (temporomandibular joints or “TMJ”) and can alter jaw function. TMJ disorder can
cause symptoms of headaches or earaches, and popping, clicking or grinding sounds
when someone opens their mouth. It may also lead to restricted movement in the mouth
when speaking or eating.

SEDA Dental offers a variety of TMJ disorder treatments to our Jupiter patients. To find
the best treatment, our multi-specialty team of dentists will need to identify the root
cause of your TMJ condition.


TMJ Disorder Symptoms

TMJ disorder symptoms can sometimes be confusing. Earaches, for example, are
usually a sign of an infection in the ear, but it could also be a sign you might have TMJ
disorder because of its close proximity to your joint. TMJ disorder can also manifest
itself as:
● Pain whenever you’re chewing or biting down
● The pain under your ears and on the sides of the face, ranging from a dull ache
to a sharp stabbing sensation
● Your mouth can’t open as wide as normal
● You hear clicking and popping sounds coming from your jaw joint when you open
or close your mouth
● Tension headaches that occur during periods of stress or when you wake up in
the morning
● The joint seems locked in place
● Teeth that have worn, jagged, or sharp biting surfaces
● Notched tooth enamel along the gumline


TMJ Disorder Causes

Clinical TMJ disorder is usually caused by injury to the jaw or joint. This is most
commonly due to traumatic injuries like an athletic or car accident. You might also have
misaligned teeth that cause your bite to be “off” and in turn, the joint has to work
overtime in order to compensate. You might even have arthritis bone degeneration.
Besides injuries to your mouth, two of the other most common causes include:

Bruxism is an unconscious habit of grinding and clenching your teeth while you’re
asleep or under stress.
People who grind their teeth typically experience worn tooth enamel, headaches, and
tension in the TMJ. Some people don’t feel bothered by any issues at all. You may
notice changes in your mouth such as teeth appearing flatter on the chewing surfaces,
fractured or broken teeth, receding gums, jaw pain, or migraines.
If you catch yourself clenching your teeth during the day, you may suffer from bruxism.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

OSA refers to a specific type of sleep disorder caused by the obstruction of your airway
at the back of your mouth caused by your oral tissues. A large neck circumference,
enlarged tonsils, and a small jaw are just a few risk factors. OSA causes oxygen to stop
flowing to your body and brain, which then induces tightening of your TMJ.
The cause of sleep apnea depends on your specific diagnosis. Research has shown
that sleep apnea is often linked to chronic bruxism and TMJ pain. Patients with sleep
apnea often have chipped, worn or flat teeth from trying to open their airways while they
sleep. To determine the exact diagnosis, you’ll need to have a sleep study conducted at
home or in a clinic.


Misaligned Teeth

Uneven pressure when chewing or biting is a sign that crooked teeth may be causing
problems in the function of your jaw joints.
If your bite is out of balance, it could cause serious injury to your jaw. Atypical chewing
motion is a necessity to grind and break down your food. Over time, all of that unnatural
jaw motion can cause changes in your TMJ. Eventually, it will also contribute to chronic
joint pain or damage. Clear aligner therapy or braces are sometimes the best option for
treating your TMJ symptoms, if jaw and tooth misalignment are to blame.


Surgery Free TMJ Treatment

SEDA Dental in Jupiter has multi-specialty dentists ready to treat your TMJ pain at its
source. It’s usually possible without any painful surgery. While anti-inflammatories and
muscle relaxers can temporarily relieve symptoms, they may cause stomach upset and
make it difficult to drive or work, not to mention only mask your symptoms. It’s best to
treat your TMJ to prevent flare-ups from recurring.

Our multi-specialty dentistry team in Jupiter can help you find the right combination of
non-surgical solutions to treat your TMJ symptoms. All you need is a consultation.
Are you suffering from headaches, worn teeth, TMJ pain, or other symptoms?