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Risk Factors for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop TMD with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing TMD. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Risk factors for TMD include:

Stress-related Habits

Some of the stress-related habits that may increase your risk of TMD include:

  • Habitually clenching and unclenching your jaw
  • Biting your lip
  • Grinding your teeth during the day and/or at night in your sleep
  • Constantly or very regularly chewing things, such as gum or ice, for long periods of time

Medical Conditions

The following medical conditions may increase your risk of TMD:

  • Misaligned teeth or misaligned bite
  • Jaw or facial deformities
  • Arthritic conditions, such as:
  • Synovitis, an inflammation of the membrane that lines the temporomandibular joint
  • History of jaw or facial injuries such as fractures or dislocations of the jaw
  • Muscle pain or spasm of the chewing muscles
  • Psychological illness

Age

Most people report TMD symptoms between the ages of 30 and 50.

Gender

TMD is more common in women than in men.

Ill-fitting Dentures

Poorly fitted dentures are thought to be a risk factor for TMD.

Other Risk Factors

There is some evidence that women taking hormone replacement therapy are more likely to develop symptoms of TMD.

Revision Information

  • Temporomandibular disorders. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aaoms.org/images/uploads/pdfs/tmj%5Fdisorders.pdf. Published 2013. Accessed February 22, 2017.

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114703/Temporomandibular-joint-TMJ-dysfunction. Updated May 11, 2015. Accessed February 22, 2017.

  • TMJ. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/tmj. Updated December 2010. Accessed February 22, 2017.

  • TMJ. Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tmj. Accessed February 22, 2017.

  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/TMJ/TMJDisorders.htm. Updated April 2015. Accessed February 22, 2017.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Redmond Regional Medical Center does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.