There are several causes of TMD. An injury to the face or jaw can throw off its alignment. Misaligned teeth that do not fit together like they should can also cause TMJ pain, as well as nighttime teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Stress, gum chewing, and arthritis also contribute to jaw pain. The condition affects slightly more women than men, and is more likely to occur in older patients.
No matter what causes TMD, seeking a diagnosis and treatment is crucial. When ignored, the condition can take a real toll on your oral health, causing teeth grinding that wears down your natural tooth enamel, leaving you with more sensitivity and at an increased risk of decay. People who live with TMD also deal with chronic pain, headaches/migraines, and tingling extremities.