Discomfort or pain in the TMJ can have many causes:
- Trauma to the TMJ or surrounding muscles and tissues from a sporting injury, car accident or other physical incident
- Misaligned bite from uneven teeth, mis-positioning of jaw, incorrect bites, or loss of bite height
- Daytime clenching of the jaw and nighttime grinding of teeth while asleep (referred to as bruxism). The underlying cause of night time grinding is often sleep apnoea
- Stresses on other areas of the skeletal system, e.g. neck and lower back and sometimes even foot dysfunction.
All too often, the foundation of the problem will be a combination of many different causes, which are all interacting and exasperating each other. This is why it is so hard to identify the original cause of the problem and why a holistic approach is best for effective treatment.