Remember that TMJ disorders often rusult when the chewing muscles and the TMJ(temporomandibular joint) do not work together correctly. When this occurs, the muscles will often go in a spasm(cramp). This spasm can then become part of a cycle that results in tissue damage, pain, and muscle tenderness. Although accidents such as injuries to the jaw head or neck, or diseases such as arthritis may result in come TMJ problems, factors relating to the teeth and bite are also believed to be common causes of TMJ disorders. Among these factors are the following:
1. Oral habits such as clenching the teeth or grinding the teeth(bruxism). These habits can tire the muscles and cause them to go into spasm. The spasm causes pain, which in turn causes more spasm. The end result of this spasm-pain-spasm cycle may eventually be a TMJ disorder.
2. Problems in the way the teeth fit together or bite. Improperly aligned teeth can sometimes place the chewing muscles under stress and cause them to go into spasm, thus setting off the harmful cycle described earlier.
Frequently, oral habits and problems with the bite work together to cause TMJ disorders. Diagnosis and treatment should be pursued to avoid long term permanent problems. There is no need to suffer pain and losse of function.