Did you know that about 12 percent of Americans are experiencing TMJ disorders at any one time? Also, women are 9 times more likely than men to experience severe pain and restricted jaw movement?
Some known causes are autoimmune diseases, injuries, infections, dental procedures/prolonged mouth opening, pre-surgery breathing tube insertion, and arthritis. (How about stress?)
The majority of women who have TMJ disorders are in their childbearing years — which indicates that hormones may play a role.
Genetic and environmental factors can increase the risk. A particular gene variant more prevalent among TMD sufferers increases sensitivity to pain. Gum chewing and sustained postures may also play a role. (Data from TMJ.org.)