What causes TMJ problems

In most cases, TMJ problems or disorders are due to the stress placed on the muscles in the face due to multiple reasons including

  • Dental work which has required you to keep your mouth open for a long period of time.
  • Dental work which has caused a bite misalignment
  • Jaw injuries
  • Stress – This is often the most common case of TMJ problems since stress causes our jaw muscles to tighten up and sometimes even lock up resulting in trigger points in the jaw muscles.
  • Clenching and grinding of your teeth which has put stress on the jaw joint and the muscles of the face resulting in TMJ problems down the line.
  • Poor posture which puts pressure on your neck muscles which in turn put pressure on your jaw muscles causing your TMJ joint to get stressed
  • Forward head posture – This is a fairly recent phenomenon due to the constant use of mobile phones where people have their constantly bent looking over on their phones or mobile devices. This puts pressure on the shoulder muscles, neck muscles, jaw muscles and even the muscles in the forehead causing severe stress and pain.

High stress to the jaw or jaw muscles or injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disc, which is made of cartilage and functions as the cushion of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.