Causes of TMJ Disorders

Poor Bites

How your teeth fit together can play a critical role in whether you develop TMD. Have you ever broken a tooth while chewing something? Chances are very high that the reason your tooth broke was due to tooth to tooth contact. These interferences in a person’s bite can put undo stress on the Temporomandibular Joint. Do your teeth make greater contact on the right side? or on your front teeth? Is there a space between your top front teeth and your bottom front teeth (open-bite)? Did you have orthodontics as a child where your canines were moved to fill the space of your missing lateral incisors? These are just some of the bad bites or poor occlusions our TMD patients present to our office. Dr. Jaeckle utilizes a digitial bite sensor or Tekscan technology to accurately analyze his patient’s bites. The Tekscan technology allows Dr. Jaeckle to view a “movie” of your bite and how your teeth fit together throughout your chewing process. Tekscan is a critical tool for a TMJ/TMD dentist to properly analyze the impact of the bite on a patient’s TMJ.

Trauma

Trauma to face, head or neck can lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Whether it be macrotrauma that causes structural alterations, or microtrauma which are small, repeated forces over a long period of time. Common microtraumas are bruxism (grinding teeth) and clenching of the teeth.

Emotional Stress

My mentor Dr. Okeson used to say, “a simple way of describing stress is to consider it a type of energy. When a stressful situation is encountered, energy is generated within the body and must be released in some way.”  When emotional stress increases, both the tone of the head and neck muscles can increase as well as the level of nonfunctional muscle activity, which is manifested in bruxism or clenching.

To learn about how Dr. Jaeckle has helped his patients suffering from TMD, visit our patient stories.