What Causes Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder?

What Causes TMJ Disorder

These joints are located just below both of your ears. It’s estimated that around 5 to 12% of the population have TMJ.

TMJ can cause jaw pain and discomfort, headaches, clicking and popping noises when you move your jaw, or even jaw locking in severe cases. But what causes it? In this blog from Vidan Family Chiropractic, we’ll go over a few different common causes of TMJ disorder, and help you learn more about this common jaw condition.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding, also called “bruxism,” is the uncontrolled clenching, gnashing, and grinding of the teeth. It can happen during the day, but is most common at night during sleep. The precise causes of bruxism are unknown, though it’s associated with some risk factors like high stress, anxiety, using drugs and alcohol, and some other sleep problems like snoring and sleep apnea.

Teeth grinding puts lots of stress on your teeth, as well as the muscles and ligaments of your jaw and face. This includes the TMJ. So if you grind your teeth frequently, this could cause or contribute to TMJ.

Other Types Of Jaw Overuse

If you’re overusing your jaw in some other way, this can also contribute to TMJ. For example, if you have a gum chewing habit, you bite pens and pencils, or even if your diet contains many foods that require lots of chewing, this can contribute to TMJ by placing stress on your jaw muscles and joints.

Bite Problems And Teeth Misalignment

Orthodontic problems with your bite and the alignment of your teeth can often contribute to TMJ. If your teeth do not come together properly and are misaligned, this can put strain on the temporomandibular joint. Eventually, this can lead to TMJ.

Bite problems and misaligned teeth can also make it harder to take care of your oral health, and may also contribute to premature tooth wear and damage. You may want to consult with an orthodontist if you suspect that you have problems with your bite or teeth alignment.

Trauma To The Temporomandibular Joint

In some cases, TMJ can be caused by direct trauma to the temporomandibular joint. If you have some kind of accident where you’re struck in the face, this can damage or displace the joint. This may lead to severe pain and discomfort, and difficulties opening or closing your mouth properly.


TMJ can also be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis causes inflammation and pain in the joints, and the temporomandibular joint is no exception. If you have arthritis, this may be the cause of your TMJ, or it may be a significant contributing factor.

Get Help With TMJ In St. Louis – Come To Vidan Family Chiropractic!

If you’re suffering from TMJ, you may be wondering how to cope with your condition and eliminate your pain. At Vidan Family Chiropractic, TMJ treatment in St. Louis is one of our specialties. With TMJ therapy and adjustments from Dr. Alex Vidan and our team, you can eliminate your pain and get back to your daily routine. Give us a call at 314-210-6556 to schedule a consultation, or contact Vidan Family Chiropractic online to learn more.

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