What Are the Causes of TMJ?

June 5th, 2024

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, as much as 12 percent of the population struggles with TMJ symptoms. Disorders of the temporomandibular joint can cause chronic discomfort, make it more difficult to bite and chew, and impact the quality of life in countless other ways.

The good news is that several treatment options are available for TMJ conditions, including lifestyle interventions, medications, and surgery. At Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery, we are pleased to offer a full spectrum of TMJ treatment options.

Gaining a better sense of the condition’s underlying causes can be helpful before treatment, as several factors may affect TMJ disorders. During an initial consultation, your doctor may provide you with a clearer sense of where your TMJ symptoms are coming from.

What Are the Common Causes of TMJ Disorder?

In diagnosing the cause of TMJ disorder, there are a number of factors to consider.

  • TMJ symptoms are often caused by excessive strain placed on the jaw joints, as well as the muscle group that helps you chew, swallow, and speak.
  • In many instances, this strain is caused by habitual teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism.
  • Traumatic injuries to the head, jaw, or neck may also contribute to TMJ symptoms.
  • In some cases, arthritis or similar joint conditions may contribute to TMJ discomfort.
  • Medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and fibromyalgia do not necessarily cause TMJ discomfort, but they can worsen the symptoms.

These are just some of the primary factors that are associated with TMJ disorders.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ disorders present a number of common symptoms. These include:

  • Soreness or discomfort in your jaw.
  • Persistent headaches.
  • Pain behind your eyes or across your face.
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw.
  • Locking of the jaw.
  • Limited range of motion for your mouth.

If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly in conjunction with tooth grinding or clenching, then you may have a TMJ disorder. The best way to get the care you need is to schedule a consultation with an experienced oral surgeon.

Treatment for TMJ

The treatment journey begins with a consultation. During this appointment, your surgeon will evaluate your jaw and teeth, verify your need for treatment, and walk you through some of the best options.

Treatment for TMJ can vary according to several factors, including the severity of the disorder, age, and other factors. Some of the most typical treatments include oral medications, injectable medications, relaxation techniques, behavioral changes, and physical therapy. For more advanced cases of TMJ, surgical intervention might be required.

Explore Treatment Options for TMJ Disorders

No matter the underlying cause of your TMJ disorder, it is important to know that lasting relief is available. The first step is scheduling a consultation. Contact our practice directly to schedule a consultation with Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery.