When a person is at risk for a condition, it means their likelihood of getting a disease or other condition increases. While you are more likely to develop temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMD) if you have one or a few of the risks, it does not mean you won’t develop TMD if you do not have any risk factors present. If you have any risk factors associated with TMD, it is important to visit our office for further analysis and treatment planning. Let’s take a look at a couple of risk factors of TMD.

You’ve had trauma or injury. If you experience trauma or injury to the jaw area, it can translate to long-term issues. TMD may develop if an injury causes dislocation of the jaw joint or movement of the disc and if muscles of opening and closing the jaw are weakened or strained, among other complicating jaw conditions.

You’re of a certain age. Another risk factor is your age. If you are between the ages of 30 and 50 years, you are at an increased risk of developing TMD. While this doesn’t always mean a person will develop TMD if they are between these ages, but they are more likely to.

You’re constantly stressed. Let’s face it; stress is never good. However, if you are under a lot of stress in your life, you may have an increased risk of TMD. Some of the stress-related habits that may increase your risk of TMD are habitually clenching and unclenching your jaw, grinding your teeth during the day and/or night in your sleep, and constantly chewing things, such as gum or ice. By learning to combat your stress, you can further prevent the development of TMD. 

You have a certain medical condition. There are various medical conditions that can also increase your risk of TMD. These might include misaligned teeth or bite, jaw or facial deformities, arthritic conditions and history of jaw or facial injuries. If you suffer from these medical conditions it is important to visit our office for further assessment. 

Your gender. Both men and women can suffer from TMD. However, women account for 90% of those that seek treatment. Research continues to be completed to determine a possible connection between hormones and TMD, indicated sometimes that men and women process pain signals differently. However, there is no evidence to prove this claim quite yet.

Contact Dr. Sara at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions in Scottsdale to learn more about your risk for TMD and other conditions.