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What Causes TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the place where the jawbone (mandible) articulates with the skull (temporal bone). When the movement of this joint becomes compromised, you can experience mild discomfort, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, or more severe pain that can extend beyond the jaw, to the neck and shoulders. Oftentimes, a clicking, popping, or grinding sound can be heard, indicating that the jaw is not properly aligned and/or the muscles are imbalanced. This condition is known as TMJ disorder or TMD.

The causes of TMJ disorder can include eroded disks at the temporomandibular joints, damaged cartilage (arthritis), or physical trauma (injury or impact). Patients who suffer from arthritis or chronically grind and clench their teeth may have an increased risk of developing TMJ disorder. However, there are also instances of this condition that have no discernable cause. For all patients with TMJ disorder, the interaction between the jaw and skull becomes strained, typically leading to a diverse range of symptoms that can greatly impact day-to-day life. If you believe you are suffering from TMJ disorder, our dentists offer a number of customized treatment options that can help restore proper movement of your jaw and improve your quality of life. Please contact us to schedule a consultation today.