There are a lot of causes of TMJ. Anything from grinding your teeth to having a bad bite can cause TMJ. However, there are also certain factors that can cause TMJ that you may never have even thought of. At Smile Columbia Dentistry, we can treat your TMJ symptoms long-term. If you notice you have jaw or neck pain, or frequent migraines and also happen to experience the situations below, it’s likely you have TMJ and need treatment. Discover 5 causes of TMJ below.

Exhausted man stressed out over the recent tax season, causing him TMJ disordered pain

1. Tax Season

With tax season just around the corner, business owners and employees feel the stress as they prepare their taxes or visit a CPA. Once tax season rolls around, people tend to focus more on their financial stress which can result in excessive teeth clenching. If you find yourself feeling immensely stressed and start clenching your teeth, this can cause a TMJ disorder. If you recognize the signs and symptoms of TMJ tax season, ask yourself what you can do to prevent stress-related to taxes. If you’re unable to find a coping method, you may need TMJ treatment to relieve the pain.

2. Poor Posture

Not only can poor posture contribute to back pain, but also cause TMJ disorders. When you hunch or slouch throughout the day, this can affect the alignment of your jaw. Spinal stress can lead to stress on the jaw joint causing the lower jaw to shift forward and create misalignment. If you’re unable to correct your posture, it’s likely you will start to experience TMJ symptoms down the line. Not only will you need to learn how to correct your posture, but also fix the misalignment in your jaw.

3. Drug Use

Not only can drug addiction cause a myriad of problems to your health, but it also causes TMJ. With frequent drug use of amphetamines like cocaine, parafunctional activity such as grinding and clenching teeth can increase. With frequent grinding and clenching, the muscles and ligaments in the jaw that control TMJ functionality will become stressed and cause wear and tear on the teeth.

4. Academic Stress

There’s a reason TMJ pops up in young adults, academic stress can feel overbearing and cause a multitude of problems. With the stress of academics, students suffer from a lack of sleep and poor dietary habits. With all factors combined, it can cause students to begin grinding and clenching their teeth to accelerate the wear and tear of their teeth. As a result, TMJ treatment and tooth restoration become necessary.

5. Eating Giant Foods

If you’re asked to super-size your meal like eat a one-pound burrito, as tempting as this sounds, you should probably say no, at least to eating it in large bites. When you open your mouth too wide to take a bite of food, it can aggravate the ligaments and muscles in the jaw and eventually cause damage. This can lead to TMJ disorders down the line. Do yourself a favor and take smaller bites of your supersized food.

If you think you might have a TMJ disorder, please contact Smile Columbia in Columbia, SC at (803) 781-9090 for a consultation with Dr. Hahn. We will find you the effective long-term treatment you need to live pain-free for life.