The Causes of TMD

A disorder in your temporomandibular joint, known as a TMD, comes in many forms.

“What Is the TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is the area just in front of your ear, where the lower jaw connects to the side of your skull. The joint comprises a complex system of muscles, ligaments, bones and cartilage discs that act together as a hinge and enable you to move your lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side. Any situation that causes the jaw to malfunction is called a TMJ disorder, and its symptoms can carry discomfort to the ear canal.” (Source: Colgate)

They generally represent a problem with the joint of your jawbone or the muscles that are used to manipulate this bone. The root cause of many TMD’s is often hard to pin down, but some of the most common problems include the following:

  • If you are a woman, particularly a woman between the age of twenty and forty, you are statistically more likely to develop a TMD. The reason behind this is not well understood.
  • An injury suffered around the area of your jaw, neck, or head.
  • Excessive clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth, which puts a lot of stress on your jaw muscles.
  • A TMD is occasionally the symptom of a more serious disease, like gingivitis or oral cancer. These can affect the way your jaw fits into your skull.
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in your jaw can come in the form of a TMD.

Meadow Creek dental can help you to overcome your TMD’s. Consult our Issaquah dentist during normal business hours to learn more.

On the Lookout for Bruxism

Most people grind their teeth every once in a while, but grinding too much can quickly become a problem that your Issaquah dentist may have to deal with. The medical term for tooth-grinding is “bruxism”, and it can wear down your teeth, give you headaches, and put strain on your jaw that can lead to TMJ disorders.

One of the problems with bruxism is that many people don’t even notice that they suffer from it. This could be because they only grind while asleep, but they can also grind throughout the day without being conscious of the action. It therefore pays to be on the lookout for the warning signs; if your jaw is frequently sore for no apparent reason, or if you notice a family member habitually grinding, this may be something to bring to the attention of your dentist.