The Causes of TMJ / How Did I Get TMJ?
While the causes of TMJ can be related to direct trauma to the jaw joint, such as a blow to the jaw, the cause is unclear and/or unknown in many cases. Misalignment should always be considered and evaluated by a specialized dentist.
Other contributing factors can include developmental and/or congenital abnormalities, teeth clenching or teeth grinding, bite misalignment, gum chewing, poorly fitting dentures, and systemic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia that manifest in the jaw.
There are many types of TMJ, and any one type may have more than one cause. Because the cause is unclear in many cases, you may not receive a satisfactory answer to this question. What will be clear, however, is the pain you feel from having TMJ.
According to The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the most common form of TMJ is myofascial pain. Myofascial pain is pain that originates from muscles and connective tissue, caused by a trigger point(s). A trigger point is an irritable spot in a muscle that is locked into a deep and painful spasm. Most of the trigger points responsible for the myofascial pain associated with TMJ are located inside the mouth, and are difficult to treat. By using the MyoFree® Solution, TMJ sufferers can now easily relax these hard to reach muscles and eliminate their pain.
An intricate pathway of nerves and blood vessels run through muscle. When a muscle forms a trigger point, the trigger point literally "clenches down" on the nerves and blood vessels, causing pain.
Since nerves can pass through many muscles, often the pain is felt in a muscle far from the originating muscle that has the trigger point. This is known as "referred pain."
If you have TMJ, you have trigger points in the muscles inside of your mouth. You may also have trigger points and/or referred pain in muscles outside of your mouth, for example, the neck and shoulders.
In these diagrams, the X's represent trigger points, and the red shaded areas are the referred pain patterns.
Tensor Veli Palitini
The MyoFree® Solution makes intra-oral trigger point therapy practical, easy, and affordable.