What Are Common Causes of TMJ Disorder?

man holds his sore jaw with TMJ disorder

Have you ever woken up with a sore jaw or noticed clicking noises when you chew? You could be experiencing symptoms of a condition related to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These two joints, found on either side of your face, connect your jawbone to the rest of your skull and make it possible to eat and speak.

When issues arise with your TMJ, it can cause discomfort ranging from a dull ache to sharp pain in the joint. Here are a few common causes of TMJ disorder and how you can address the problem and find some relief.


Bruxism is the medical term for grinding one’s teeth and/or clenching one’s jaw. Many people do this in their sleep without even realizing that it’s happening. This unfortunate habit can cause wear and tear on your teeth and place excess pressure on the delicate jaw joint, leading to TMJ discomfort.

Wearing a custom nightguard while you sleep will help alleviate the stress placed on your TMJ and protect your teeth from bruxism-related damage.


If you’ve recently sustained an injury to the face, that could very well be the reason your TMJ is causing you problems. Maybe you took a tumble or were tackled while playing a sport and your jaw took the brunt of the fall. The TMJ pain may go away as the injury heals, but if it persists, you’ll want to see a professional to ensure that things heal properly and prevent the development of further issues.

To protect your smile from oral trauma while playing sports, ask about getting a custom athletic mouthguard!

Bite Misalignment

Your upper and lower teeth are meant to fit together like pieces of a puzzle, but many patients have misaligned bites. When your teeth don’t line up together properly, it can put undue stress on your TMJ.

Orthodontic treatment, like Invisalign, or special oral appliances that reposition the jaw can adjust the alignment of your bite to relieve TMJ pain.

TMJ Disorder Treatment in Tyler, Texas

If you suspect that your jaw pain could be related to a TMJ disorder, come visit Ashley Laird, DDS, for a consultation. Our team will evaluate your symptoms and help you get to the bottom of what is causing your discomfort. Relieve your pain—schedule an appointment today!

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