TMJ disorder is not fully understood however; there are a number of known factors that contribute to this disorder:
- An incorrect bite if left untreated (see Orthodontics)
- Sudden injury during sports (see Mouth Guards)
- A motor vehicle injury.
- Clenching or grinding the teeth (see Bruxism)
Some of the symptoms include persistent headaches, earaches, popping or crackling of the joint and a limited mouth opening.
For the treatment of acute symptoms, a soft diet, hot compresses or a cold pack with muscle relaxants and painkillers is recommended. Orthodontics may be required to correct a malocclusion. In the case of bruxism an acrylic splint is worn to relieve the pressure on the joint. In extreme cases surgery is indicated as a last resort.