Unfortunately it is not really that clear what causes TMJ disorders, but dentists think that it results from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with some parts of the TMJ or temporomandibular joint.
The TMJ is a hinge joint that connects the mandible or the lower jaw and the temporal bone of the skull. These are found on the front of the ears and on the sides of the head. These are flexible joints that let the jaw move up and down and to the sides. These are all movements that people do when they chew, yawn, or talk.
Sometimes the jaw muscles can get overused, sometimes with too much grinding or clenching of the teeth and this can lead to a TMJ disorder. Stress is another factor that can lead to TMJ pain.
When people experience stress, they can sometimes clench their teeth or tighten their facial and jaw muscles. Sometimes other things such as an injury to the jaw, the temporomandibular joint, or the muscles of the head and the neck, or the dislocation of the disc that acts as a cushion between the ball and the socket can also contribute to TMJ pain.
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