What Causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

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what causes temporomandibular joint disorder

TMJ dysfunction, also referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), is a condition that affects the aforementioned joint, which joins the jawbone to the skull. The  joint can cause pain, discomfort and negatively impact your mouth’s ability to move as a result of TMJ problems, making it challenging to speak or eat.

There are various important elements that lead to the development of TMJ disease, even if the exact causes might differ from person to person. It is important to seek immediate TMJ treatment in Okotoks if you experience any changes in your joint or jawbone.

Common Causes of TMJ Disorder

Dental Problems

The development of TMJ condition can be significantly influenced by dental problems. Misalignment of the teeth and jaw, known as malocclusion, can lead to excessive strain on the TMJ and joint instabilities. TMJ problems can also be exacerbated by bruxism. Additionally, the alignment and operation of the temporomandibular joint can be impacted by missing teeth or an incorrect bite. It is important to consult with our dentist in Okotoks if you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms.


TMJ problems can be caused by a number of types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which can damage the temporomandibular joint. The cartilage in the joint becomes inflamed and degenerates as a result of arthritis, which results in discomfort, stiffness, and limited jaw mobility. TMJ dysfunction is more likely to occur in those with a history of arthritis or other autoimmune conditions.

Jaw Trauma

One of the primary reasons for TMJ disorder is injury or damage to the jaw joint. Injury to the joint, which can come from accidents, sports injuries, or blows to the face, can trigger TMJ symptoms. Jaw dislocation, fractures, or other structural abnormalities that obstruct the joint’s normal function might lead to TMJ problems.

Stress and Emotional Factors

Stress, worry, and emotional strain are among the psychological elements that can cause or exacerbate TMJ. Stress-related behaviors like teeth grinding or jaw clenching can put a strain on the jaw joint and the muscles around it. Additionally, emotional triggers could result in more tense muscles, which can make TMJ symptoms worse.

Hormonal Changes

Unbalanced hormones, especially in women, may play a role in the emergence of TMJ problems. Hormone fluctuations, such as those that occur during menopause or pregnancy, can have an impact on the bones and joints which increases sensitivity and discomfort in the temporomandibular joint.

Poor Posture and Ergonomics

TMJ problems can result from poor posture, especially in the neck and upper back, which puts too much strain on the jaw joint. Poor ergonomics, such as incorrect head and neck positions when working or sleeping, can cause muscle strain and jaw misalignment, which raises the risk of TMJ issues.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Another important factor in the development of TMJ is bruxism, which is the consistent grinding or clenching of the teeth. The continual pressure that teeth grinding puts on the jaw joint can lead to joint dislocation, muscular exhaustion, and inflammation. Stress, worry, and sleep problems can all contribute to bruxism, which makes TMJ symptoms severe. Consult with a dentist near you for any dental device to prevent any damage caused due to teeth grinding.

Come into Cimarron Dental Wellness

The exact cause of the temporomandibular joint disorder is often multifaceted. Understanding these causes can help individuals take preventive measures and seek appropriate treatment to manage TMJ-related symptoms.

It is advisable to consult with our dentist here at our local dental practice for a proper diagnosis. They will customize your treatment to satisfy your specific needs.

If you need more information or you’re ready to book your appointment to receive TMJ treatment near you, we highly encourage you to give us a call!