Can My Bite Cause TMJ?

There are numerous causes for TMJ pain and connected issues.  Your bite (way teeth meet together), jaw position, and overall dental health do play an important role in causing TMJ dysfunction.  There are multiple issues that can cause TMJ pain and everyone’s case is usually different depending on their circumstances.

Closeup up side profile sick female having ear pain
TMJ pain

Some causes of TMJ are as follows:

  1. Mouth breathing: this is a big factor and can lead to incorrect and aberrant jaw development which can then cause overbites and underbites
  2.  Teeth Grinding or Bruxism: this is a significant factor and can cause TMJ pain as well as wear and permanent damage to your teeth further contributing to a bad bite. This can also be indicative of sleep apnea and airway related issues.
  3. Decayed teeth or teeth that have been extracted: many times decayed teeth or a lost tooth can lead to changes in how the teeth meet together.  This displaces the bite position which in turn can strain the jaw joints and facial muscles.
  4. Injury: A blow to the jaw, even years ago can cause damage the jaw joint and misalignment of the muscles causing pain and strain. Auto accidents can also contribute to this
  5. Poor Posture:  this is one factor that is highly overlooked.  Oftentimes, patients have forward head posture that leads to jaw misalignment  and excessive pressure on the TMJ as well as neck pain
  6. Dental Care:  some procedures may alter the existing bite , which may often already be strained, and the jaw alignment changes leading to TMJ pain. This includes polishing the teeth down, crowns, fillings, and even orthodontics.
  7.  Genetic issues:  there are some inherent genetics that affect how we grow and develop.  Other times some autoimmune issues can cause TMJ and facial related issues.  Arthritis and Ehlers-Danos are examples.

There are many more factors.  In overview, these all cause changes to the way your teeth meet together and leads to the upper and lower jaw not meeting together properly which is a misaligned bite.  This causes pain and stress on the system and often affects the neck, ears. shoulders, and can cause other symptoms such as headaches as well.

If you are experiencing TMJ symptoms or have questions regarding options for TMJ treatment, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289.

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