There are a lot of theories as to what really causes TMJ disorders. Though it is quite obvious that the reasons may vary from patient to patient, most if not all of the causes tend to have jaw clenching or bruxism involved.

Researchers have come up with many reasons that may be behind this odd disorder and today we take a close look at them and just how they could bring about TMJ which is increasingly becoming a disorder that affects many people today.

Jaw Clenching

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Major Causes of Jaw Clenching:

    • Tinnitus: Tinnitus cannot really be classified as a disease because it is actually a condition that has various causes. The condition is largely associated with ear infections either from loud sounds that obstruct one’s ability to hear properly, excess wax, nasal allergies, or foreign objects. The condition could also be as a result of multiple sclerosis or neurological damage. Tinnitus has been associated with TMJ disorder for a very long time and what may surprise you is that some researchers actually say that tinnitus may bring about TMJ and TMJ may also bring about tinnitus. The nerves found in the ear bones are linked to the TMJ bone and this means that they do indeed have a relationship that we cannot ignore.
    • Irregular Jaw: Another key reason that may be the cause of your TMJ is an irregular jaw. We all have different facial structures and while the lower jaw is naturally a bit inverted, in some people this is not the case. When your jaw is not in the right position, the body will naturally want to correct this. Muscle spasm will therefore occur to try slide your jaw back to its right position and this brings about teeth clenching. This is, however, not the only reason that may bring about an irregular jaw and people who have jaw clenching habit could easily develop TMJ disorders. It is also important to note that besides self-inflicted reasons and natural formations, blunt trauma could also bring about an irregular jaw.
    • Posture: When we talk of posture, we are not only talking about your sitting position but generally how you carry around your weight. Poor posture can force the lower jaw to get into an abnormal position that consequently brings about misalignment. Your sleeping position also plays a vital role in your bone structure and depending on how you sleep, bruxism and TMJ could arise. Certain sleeping positions obstruct the airways forcing your body into survival mode, making your body resort to jaw clenching and grinding as a means to open up your airways.


If your TMJ disorder is brought about by bruxism which as you may have noticed features prominently on all the major causes, it is treatable easily. Bruxism treatment can be carried out by a dentist and therapist as well. When it comes to tinnitus and an irregular jaw, a chiropractor is more suitable to deal with the condition as this affects the bones, nerves and muscles.

While there are other causes for jaw clenching and TMJ disorders, these three are the major culprits to look out for.

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