The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the hinged joint that connects your jaw to your skull. Any problems with the TMJ, as well as any problems with the muscles and ligaments surrounding the TMJ, are collectively referred to as TMJ disorder, or TMD.
Sometimes, when TMD symptoms occur, the actual cause of the TMD is unclear. Other times, the cause of TMD is obvious, such as when a person suffers an injury to the TMJ and immediately starts to experience symptoms. Nonetheless, there are some commonalities among TMD sufferers. Based on observations of TMD sufferers, we can say that in general, the typical patient suffering from TMJ disorder includes the following individuals.
We do not yet know why, but women are more prone to suffering from TMD than men. For this reason, scientists are researching a possible correlation between female hormones and TMD.
Individuals With Certain Joint Disorders
It makes sense that some of the disorders affecting the joints would also affect the temporomandibular joint. Thus, a typical TMD patient might suffer from osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, or rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that negatively impacts the joints.
People Suffering From Chronic Stress
People suffering from chronic stress often clench or grind their teeth unknowingly. Bruxism, the clinical term for teeth clenching or grinding, is a known cause of TMD.
Individuals With a Misaligned Bite or Those Undergoing Orthodontic Treatment
Another known cause of TMD is a misaligned bite (malocclusion), which can cause the TMJ and skull to become imbalanced, adding stress to the TMJ and the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Similarly, patients undergoing orthodontic treatment may experience TMD as their bite changes with treatment.
Whether you are a so-called typical TMD patient or are suffering from TMD without a known cause, Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey can help you formulate a treatment plan to alleviate your TMD symptoms. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ivan F. Stein or his trusted team of TMJ experts, contact Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey by calling (855) 865-3627.