Almost all patients ask, what caused my TMJ problems to develop? There are numerous theories and reasons that patients develop TMJ symptoms and problems. Aside from trauma and accidents, one of the most common reasons for development of TMJ problems stems from the airway and facial development from birth on. All of these can directly affect your bite or the way and position your teeth meet together.
Some common causes are:
- Airway: enlarged tonsils/adenoids
- Anatomical or structural issues of the nose and throat
- Tongue tie and other abnormalities that are not addressed
- Habits: thumb sucking, finger sucking, nail or cheek biting
- Prolonged pacifier use
- Hereditary issues
Most adult patients are not aware or do not recall of their childhood development and what transpired. What is important is the TMJ dentists recognize and address the causative issues. The good thing is that many of these pathologic issues can be corrected or improved as an adult and that the TMJ pain can be treated.
It is important that dentists who treat TMJ are aware of all the factors involved and need treat these accordingly. Successful treatment will not always come by if some of these issues are not addressed.