What causes TMJ?

If you’re dealing with the pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (often called TMJ or TMD), you’re desperate to discover what causes TMJ (and how you can how you can find relief.)

There’s no single cause for temporomandibular joint disorder. A variety of factors, including stress, arthritis, repetitive motion, and injury can result in TMJ symptoms.

TMJ is not the result of poor oral hygiene. Even those with the most rigorous brushing and flossing regimen can develop TMJ. The cause of TMJ pain is often structural problems with your jaw, including issues with the surrounding muscles, cushioning disks, or actual temporomandibular joint. 

 An initial TMJ injury is often caused by trauma, injury, or even poor posture. Once the joint is damaged, a variety of factors can cause TMD flareups.

What factors contribute to TMJ symptoms flareups?

Precipitating factors can range from genetic and structural issues to tooth grinding, poor posture, and injury. 

We can’t point to one factor as the exact cause of TMJ. However, most cases are related to stress which leads to overuse or incorrect use of the jaw. Two of the most common culprits are teeth clenching and teeth grinding (also referred to as bruxing).  Muscle relaxants are frequently used to prevent these behaviors, but are only a temporary fix.

If you grind your teeth, your masseter muscle (the largest muscle in your jaw) works even while you rest. Such repetitive movement can irritate the TMJ and aggravate or bring on TMD symptoms just as jaw pain or ear pain.

tmj-causes

What exactly is my temporomandibular joint?

Your temporomandibular joint attaches your jaw to your skull and serves as a giant hinge. This joint is in charge of jaw movement. Responsible for your ability to eat, drink, and talk, this joint has a critical job. When things go smoothly, you don’t give your jaws a second thought. However, when things go wrong, you’re left with searing jaw pain, earaches, headaches, pain, or difficulty chewing.

What can I do about my TMJ? (TMJ Treatment, TMD Diagnosis, etc.)

To a degree, the treatment plan depends on the cause and severity of your case.

TMJ home treatment is often effective for pain relief and TMJ symptom management. For mild TMD, treatments include relaxation exercises, heat/cold therapy, jaw exercises, and an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) pain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin. 

However, in more severe cases, TMJ pain treatment by a dentist can bring long-term relief for severe TMJ pain. 

Common TMD treatments rarely control the headaches, facial pain, and locking of the jaw associated with temporomandibular disorders, making TMJ difficult to treat.

Allure Dental is thrilled to offer Botox treatments for TMJ. Botox provides a conservative, non-surgical approach to treating the discomfort associated with TMD. A botox injection works as a muscle relaxant blocking the contraction of jaw muscles and eliminating the pain caused by overactive muscles. Most patients feel initial relief within a few days and experience an end to their TMD suffering within a week of treatment. 

Discover how Botox treatments can provide a safe, simple solution to treating your TMJ. Dr. Eversgerd is a member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics and has undergone specialized training in the use of Botox.

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