TMD Triggers: Understanding the Factors That Lead to Jaw Pain 

September 22, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentaldistinct @ 8:29 pm
A woman holding her jaw due to TMD

If you’ve been experiencing jaw pain when you perform basic functions during the day like eating or speaking, you could have the makings of TMD. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 10 million people are affected by it annually, making it a fairly common condition. But what causes the disorder to manifest?

If you want to learn more about TMD and its causes, continue reading. Knowing what causes TMD could put you on the path for relief.

What is TMD?

Temporomandibular Disorder (say that five times fast) is a disorder that causes facial pain in your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). This is the fancy name for the joints that attach your lower jaw to your skull.

These joints are super complex, allowing the bone to move up and down, side to side, and forward and back. Imagine if your knee had that much flexibility!

This specialized musculature and joint system comes at a cost, however. Due to the complexity of the joint, it is especially vulnerable to injury.

What Causes TMD?

TMD can have various causes and contributing factors, making it a complex condition to pinpoint. Some of the common factors that can lead to TMD include:

  • Stress – High levels of stress can cause you to clench or grind your teeth, which can strain the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.
  • Jaw Trauma – Injuries to the jaw, head, or face can result in damage to the TMJ which can put stress on it, causing TMD.
  • Bruxism – Teeth grinding and clenching, especially during sleep, can place excessive stress on the jaw joint.
  • Malocclusion – This is a misalignment of the teeth or bite that can cause an imbalance in jaw function.
  • Arthritis – Inflammatory joint conditions like arthritis can affect the TMJ and lead to TMD symptoms.
  • Genetics – Some people may have a genetic predisposition to TMD.
  • Chewing Gum or Tough Foods – Excessive gum chewing or consistently eating tough, chewy foods can overwork the jaw muscles.
  • Oral Habits – Certain oral habits, like nail-biting or biting on objects like pens, can strain the jaw.

TMD is a multi-faceted condition, and a patient may experience it due to one or a combination of these factors. If you suspect you have TMD or are experiencing jaw pain, it’s advisable to consult with a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your specific situation.

About the Practice

Dr. Hira Khan and Dr. Mohammed Mansour make up the heart of the team at Dental Distinction. With their years of combined experience and training in different specializations, their patients can get all the care they need under one roof. They pride themselves on delivering quality dentistry that’s tailored to you. To schedule a TMD consultation, call (972) 423-3322 or visit the website to learn more.

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