What’s the Main Cause of TMJ Disorder?

Jul 01, 2022

Did you know that your jaw movement is supported by ligaments, connective tissues, and muscles? All the associated parts have to function optimally to enjoy jaw motion while yawning, laughing, or eating.

A Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder occurs due to traumatic injury or inflammation of jaw joint nerves and muscles. The joint links your jawbone to your skull, and its damage results in acute pain, severe headache, and facial swelling. Joint dislocation may be life-threatening, and you need to visit emergency TMJ specialists near you.

What’s a Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)?

A Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) refers to a condition of the jaw muscles, connective tissues, and temporomandibular joints associated with chronic facial pain. The disorder inhibits the movement of muscles, bones, and joints leading to severe pain. TMD is classified into three namely:

  • Degenerative joint disease, including rheumatoid arthritis in your jaw joint
  • Myofascial pain results in painful connective tissues and muscles that aid in jaw, shoulder, and neck functioning.
  • Internal derangement of the joint involves the dislocation of your jaw or displaced disk or injury to your jaw bone that articulates with your temporal skull bone.

What’s The Main Cause of TMJ?

Various factors contribute to the development of restrictive and severe TMJ disorder. The following are the causes of TMJ disorders:

Facial or jaw injury

TMJ disorder is associated with traumatic injury to your jaw or face. The severity of your injury may cause TMJ or other problems.

Teeth Clenching

Grinding of teeth usually occurs when you sleep. You subconsciously cause the teeth to grind over each other, leading to stress. Teeth clenching can lead to severe consequences on your jaw and eventually lead to TMJ disorder development.


Stress is a contributing factor to TMJ disorder. If you have stress, you’re likely to impact your overall wellness and health negatively. Stress causes your muscles to tighten and constrict. The effects of stress on your jaw and facial muscles may cause symptoms associated with TMJ. Stress also contributes to teeth clenching, which leads to TMJ disorders.


Arthritis is a condition that involves pain and inflammation of your joints. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that causes the cartilage lining the joint to degenerate. Further deterioration causes jaw movement to become difficult, leading to pain, inflammation, and stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs when your body’s immune system targets affected joints, leading to swelling and pain. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may cause TMJ disorder.

TMJ Disorders Risk factors

Various factors heighten the risk of you developing TMJ disorders, and they include:

  • A traumatic or physical injury on your jaw bone
  • Chronic teeth clenching
  • Having rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
  • Underlying disease on your jaw connective tissues that affect your temporomandibular joint

TMD Diagnosis

The best TMJ specialist near you utilizes various approaches to diagnosing TMD, including:

  • Performing imaging tests through CT scans and MRIs
  • Checks on your health history, particularly on the history of the jaw or facial pain when you move your jaws. Your specialist will check for cracking sounds when you open or close your mouth.
  • Your specialist may examine your jaw or facial pain physically

TMD Treatment

Our TMJ specialist in Houston will examine various aspects during treatment, including your age, general health, and how the symptoms manifest. We’ll administer the ideal treatment option based on the severity of your condition. Some of the TMJ treatment options revolve around:

  • Pain relievers to suppress your pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Relaxation methods and stress management
  • Use an orthopedic appliance or a nightguard to prevent clenching
  • Resting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Surgical procedure if your condition is severe
  • Dietary changes to ensure jaw muscles don’t undergo stress
  • Use of cold packs to alleviate pain

TMD symptoms recur with long-term stress, and Cabrera Dental Associates in Houston, TX, can enable you to identify what triggers TMJ disorder symptoms and aids you in managing your disorder. If you are faced with TMJ disorder, several treatments can help. Our team of TMJ specialists in Houston is dedicated to ensuring your inflammation and pain are suppressed. Please don’t hesitate to seek consultation from our experts today!