Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, shortened to TMJ, is a condition in which the temporomandibular joint, is misaligned or overworked. As the TMJ is the main joint in the mouth TMJ disorder is a potentially very painful condition that can lead to pain around the neck and mouth, problems opening and closing the mouth, and headaches. Patients with TMJ disorder note that they sometimes suffer clicking whenever they yawn or chew. TMJ Disorder is often misdiagnosed as other medical conditions, or sometimes just as stress.
Causes of TMJ disorder include:
An unbalanced bite:
An overbite or underbite, or any other unbalanced or misaligned bite can be a main cause of TMJ Disorder. It could be one factor that leads to an unbalanced bite or an array of causes. Sucking your thumb, losing teeth or suffering allergies as a child can cause the shifting of teeth that can also cause a bad bite.
Issues with your airway can cause bite issues, TMJ pain and a jaw that has not developed properly. An unbalanced bite can cause the tongue to be in the incorrect place in your mouth and affect how air gets into your lungs. This can sometimes be caused by allergies in childhood, particularly if a child regularly has congestion. When this happens, the tongue will drop to allow air to pass over it, which can cause the tongue to be imbalanced and changes in how the upper jaw grows. This can cause a compromised airway and more difficulty breathing.
During birth, the pressures and forces that are placed on a baby’s head can affect the shape and development of the skull and bones in the baby’s head and face. If the ligaments, muscles and bones are misaligned, this can affect the development of a person’s temporomandibular joint. It also can cause an unbalanced bite due to misaligned bones in the jaw and skull.
You inherit your jaw, teeth and facial structure from your parents, as well as how susceptible you are to allergies and congestion that can cause issues with your airway. A bad bite therefore can be caused by inheriting a small jaw, or inheriting teeth that are too big to fit your mouth properly.
Trauma, Impact or Injury
An accident or intense physical impact that causes an injury to your jaw leads to damage to your joints and muscles. When the human body absorbs serious physical impact, it reverberates across the body and can affect the muscles and joints in your face, neck and head. This can cause TMJ disorder and the irritation, pain and discomfort caused by TMJ disorder.
This can affect you even if you have undergone teeth straightening treatment, and invisible problems could affect your bite and even if you have perfectly straight teeth you can have a bite affected by TMJ disorder.