What causes TMJ pain?
There are many different reasons why someone may develop TMJ pain. Typically, a patient will have one of the conditions listed below, however occasionally there can be overlap between more than one of the conditions. A careful assessment by a specially trained physiotherapist will be able to determine the contribution from each of these factors.
• Damage to the joint as a result of trauma, such as a knock to the jaw or side of the head.
• Wear and tear of the joint’s cartilage (osteoarthritis).
• Overactivity of the jaw muscles, such as in patients who frequently clench or grind (including those with bruxism).
• Referred pain from the upper cervical spine due to neck dysfunction.
• Chronic irritation of the temporomandibular joint due to incorrect jaw posture/position.
• Dysfunction or displacement of the articular disc (a soft cartilage structure within the joint that assists with the articulation of the joint).