12620 Clarksville Pike
Clarksville, MD 21029

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What Causes TMJ Disorders (TMD)?

TMJ disorders TMD can be caused by many things: Head and neck trauma, whiplash, a minor blow to your jaw, missing or mal-aligned teeth, genetic predisposition, difficult child birth, unresolved chronic pain issues and more. The disruption of smooth jaw movement can eventually lead to jaw, head and neck pain and headaches. TMJs that pop, click and lock while eating and yawning is not normal.

Do you have headaches and neck pain that drugs and other therapies have not helped for long?

Do you have ear pain or ringing in your ears and docs say your ears are just fine?

These are all symptoms of TMJ disorder. You move your jaw thousands of times a day if that joint is inflamed or dislocated it will cause lot of head and neck pain and lot of nerve impingement with symptoms that will not be resolved with drugs won’t treat and therapies won’t fix but we can help. We try and get to the cause of the pain and not just treat the symptom. Let’s get you to be pain free. We look forward to meeting you and helping you soon.

We often discover facial and postural distortions while examining our chronic TMJ disorder patients. These distortions include:

  • Jaws not lining up - Dental midline asymmetry and deep overbites
  • Eyes appearing shaped and canted differently - One eye round, the other almond
  • Ears at different angles/heights relative to the skull - Glasses that sit crooked on the face
  • Forward head posture - Habitual “bird-watching” posture
  • Rounded shoulders - Slouched appearance


Clenching and Grinding

Teeth clenching and grinding are often blamed for craniofacial pain associated with TMJ disorders. It is important to understand and recognize the three main causes of our clenching and grinding:

  • Stress
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Spinal and/or Pelvic Misalignment
     

Stress, in and of itself, does not seem to cause TMJ disorders, although we must realize that stress comes in several forms and can exacerbate an existing subclinical TMJ pain condition. People commonly suffer from three “stressors” or forms of stress: emotional stress (anxiety), physical stress (chronic pain or trauma), and chemical stress (prescription and non-prescription drugs, hormone imbalance).

Sleep apnea causes a person to clench their teeth together during restless sleep in an effort to open their airway. Restless sleep leads to fatigue and a lowered ability to cope with life’s stressors. If we don’t sleep well, then we don’t heal well. In addition, the added wear and tear on our TMJs creates a situation with great potential for pain and inflammation.

Spinal and pelvic problems can lead to significant and ultimately debilitating orthopedic instability and stress. Daytime teeth clenching is often associated with a need to stabilize our core- our internal orthopedic stabilizer. Since the TMJs and teeth are involved with a hard endpoint or brace (clench), our teeth and TMJs can become a postural compensation for an orthopedic problem. For example, people with a “bad back” may clench their teeth during the day as a protective mechanism to help stabilize an unbalanced or unstable body posture. The resulting TMJ and muscle overuse and abuse manifests as headaches, toothaches, and neck pain. Continued trauma, aging, and wear and tear eventually catch up with us and reduce or deplete our body’s ability to compensate orthopedically. The accumulation of unbalanced loads we experience from gravity, stress, and daily living lead to inflammation which then leads to pain! Thus, if we can identify the cause of the inflammation, we can treat the pain.

If you believe you may have a TMJ disorder, please visit the Parmar Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today. We will help resolve your TMJ problems with advanced TMD treatment options.