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What Causes TMJ/TMD?

Medical research has not yet defined all the causes of the various TMJ diseases/disorders. These disorders rarely have a single cause. Each patient presents with a unique combination of factors that are sorted out by a comprehensive medical history, thorough physical examination and appropriate special studies. Interestingly, many studies define the most common category of TMD causation as idiopathic - no known cause, or perhaps more accurately - no discernible cause. TMD symptoms can therefore occur gradually, or suddenly with no apparent specific cause or precipitating event. Known causative parameters can be classified as:

  1. Predisposing factors
  2. Precipitating factors
  3. Perpetuating factors

Any particular factor may function as more than one of the three factors.