If you have TMJ disorder, you might be wondering how you got it in the first place and what you can do about it today. Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders can help you answer these questions. You should consider coming to see us in-person for a consultation, but let’s see if we can answer a few of your questions about TMJ disorder, its causes, and treatment for it first!
Do doctors know what causes TMJ disorder?
Even though the disorder is so common in the U.S., researchers and doctors have some difficulty understanding TMJ disorder and its causes. However, these professionals know the disorder is a dysfunction of the temporomandibular (jaw) joint, and if it isn’t functioning properly, it can be the source of symptoms like jaw pain, a clicking jaw, facial pain, ear congestion, sleeping difficulty, and others. Some professionals speculate that TMJ disorder is caused by pre-existing health conditions, unhealthy habits, and/or trauma.
So what is the main cause of TMJ disorder?
It’s quite possible that one of many different conditions, habits, or traumas could have caused or contributed to your case of TMJ disorder. There isn’t necessarily one main cause of TMJ disorder, but there may be many common culprits like:
- The misalignment or loss of teeth
- The misalignment or dislocation of the jaw joint
- The effects of whiplash
- The effects of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the jaw joint
- A severe blow to the jaw or cheek area
- Teeth grinding or clenching that puts too much pressure on the jaw joint
- Gum chewing or nail biting in excess that causes inflammation in the jaw joint
- Poor posture that results in abnormal function of the jaw muscles
- Stress that contributes to muscle tension and jaw clenching
Additionally, genetics, age, and gender may be factors. It seems that age in women is a factor, as ages 18 to 44 are at increased risk of developing TMJ disorder. There may be other causes and factors involved in a patient’s case of the disorder.
How is TMJ disorder treated?
A person experiencing the symptoms of TMJ disorder should have a test for the disorder. This is something we can provide here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. And to treat a disorder, we’ll take into account the conditions and other contributing factors that could be involved.
Treatment usually entails various therapies like jaw stretches and exercises, and also the most effective therapy for TMJ disorder: oral appliance therapy. With this form of therapy, a patient uses a simple mouth insert at night which helps the jaw rest in its natural position and relieves symptoms very significantly. Oral appliance therapy can address many of the possible causes of TMJ disorder, like teeth misalignment, jaw misalignment, teeth grinding, and more, and by addressing the causes, oral appliance therapy effectively relieves the symptoms. It’s approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and recommended by us at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders!
Do you have a clinic near me?
We very likely do! Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has many locations throughout the states of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. To find the location nearest you, please visit our Locations page. And once you’ve found that location, feel free to call us at that location’s number. Alternatively, you can call us at (855) 977-0400. We’ll answer as many of your questions as we can over the phone and then invite you in for a consultation so we can answer the rest of your questions. In your consultation, we’ll help you get to the bottom of your case of TMJ disorder.
We look forward to speaking with and seeing you soon!