Causes of TMJ Dysfunction

There is no single cause for TMJ dysfunction. Any number of factors or combination of factors may be to blame including:

  • Malocclusion, most common cause 90% of the time (where the jaws do not line up correctly resulting in bite problems)
  • Trauma to the head, neck, or face
  • Trauma to the TMJ joint or arthritis
  • Hormonal changes or imbalances
  • Stress


Headache pain can be a symptom of a misaligned bite (occlusion). A misaligned bite can place strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which in turn can result in temporomandibular joint dysfunction, better known as TMD. There are 10 muscles responsible for operating your jaw, and a misaligned bite can cause undue stress on any or all of them, resulting in pain.

Bite Analysis

To address your Jaw pain and malocclusion, please consider doing a “Bite analysis.”

We know that cavities and gum disease cause tooth loss, but you can also lose teeth when they wear out due to clenching and grinding. Clenching and grinding have been linked to a malocclusion or a poor functioning TMJ.

Patients may exhibit signs and symptoms of malocclusion. Signs include: deep pockets which bleed upon probing, tooth wear, mobility and migration, as well as restricted jaw opening. Some symptoms of a malocclusion that can be observed are sensitive teeth and headaches.

If significant signs and symptoms are uncovered during the initial comprehensive exam Dr. Tipple will recommend that the patient comes back for a Bite Analysis to find out why the patient is having the signs and symptoms.