There is rarely a single cause for TMJ disorder. Usually, there are a combination of factors that contribute to TMD. Asheville dentist Dr. Stephen Miller is specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ dysfunction and occlusal disorders.

Effects of Bruxism on TMJ

Watch what happens to the TMJ and facial muscles when you grind or clench your teeth.

Common Causes of TMJ Disorder

The etiology (causes) of chronic headache, face and TMJ pain are multiple and often are interrelated. In Dr. Miller’s philosophy is that the key to pain management is diagnosis through a thorough examination. Some of the common factors in chronic pain are:

  • Temporomandibular (TM) joints
    The joint is damaged through trauma, which includes a blow to the face or everyday grinding and clenching. The protective disc erodes or moves out of its proper alignment resulting in joint sounds and pain. Arthritic changes can occur.
  • Muscles
    Muscles can be sore due to clenching and grinding. Habits such as gum chewing can cause overuse and result in soreness. Muscles can be sore due to bite misalignment. Muscular co-contraction can occur, as the body tries to protect a sore joint by muscles bracing.
  • Pain Pathways
    Each patient is different in their response to pain.
  • Occlusion (bite)
    The manner in which are teeth fit together can be an issue. More importantly, how we use our teeth is more important.
  • Referred Pain
    It is common for pain to be referred from the neck and shoulders are common. They often present symptoms as Trigger Points.
  • Other factors:
    • Systemic issues such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis and Fibromyalgia can be contributing factors.
    • Sleep Quality
    • Stress is an important factor in chronic pain. How our minds deal with stress and our body’s response to that stress is a huge factor.

Learn More About TMJ Disorder

Schedule a TMJ Consultation

If you are suffering from TMJ pain, facial pain or headaches, contact our Asheville dental office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stephen Miller. He will evaluate your condition and recommend the best treatment plan. Call 800.788.9411 or request an appointment online.

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