TMJ (or temporomandibular joint) disorders occur when the system of bones, muscles, ligaments and discs in the jaw don’t function properly. The results are headaches and a painful jaw that clicks and pops. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research hasn’t discovered a direct cause of TMJ disorders, but there are several links to physical and medical conditions.
Before you can receive treatment for TMJ disorder, you and Dr. Sanjeev Sharma must know the cause behind your case. The most common causes of TMJ disorder are:
1. Arthritis: arthritis damages the cartilage in joints, causing pain and misalignment in the jaw.
2. Jaw trauma: if the jaw area is struck with enough force, the discs can be knocked out of alignment.
3. Misalignment: As jaw structure changes over time, the system doesn’t always fit together as it should.
4. Stress and teeth grinding: Plenty of people grind their teeth in their sleep or as a result of stress. Not everyone tooth-grinder develops a TMJ disorder, but teeth grinding elevates your risk level.
5. Gender: TMJ disorders most often occur in women between the ages of 20 and 40, leading scientists to believe there could be a link between TMJ disorders and female hormones.
If you have a high risk level for TMJ disorders or you suspect you already have a TMJ disorder, contact Excel Dental at 360-666-5700. Dr. Sanjeev Sharma will assess your jaw alignment and prescribe treatment based on the cause of your discomfort. Call today to schedule an appointment with us and begin your journey to a pain-free jaw.