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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMJ, is chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint which is the joint that connects the mandible, or jaw, to the skull. This can cause severe pain and physical impairment for the person suffering from the disease. It can be caused by a number of different things that put strain on the jaw area. Some of the causes of TMJ are as follows: over-opening the jaw for natural or aggressive purposes or moving the jaw from side to side in an unnatural matter. A variety of different types of trauma can also cause TMJ. Trauma to the jaw area can occur during a car wreck or if a person is physically abused or possibly incurs an athletic injury. Some people who grind their teeth at night, also referred to as bruxism, suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder. The constant grinding of the teeth causes strain and injury to the jaw area. Poor alignment of the teeth from neglecting dental difficulties can also lead to TMJ. One of the less common causes of this disorder is poor chewing habits or jaw thrusting during speech. Something that everyone should be aware of is that excessive nail biting and chewing bubble gum can also lead to this very serious jaw disorder which can cause life long pain. It is important to eat with small bites and avoid any unnecessary strain to the jaw area whenever possible. It is also important to observe dental changes and take action when a problem arises because ignoring teeth movement and placement can result in TMJ disorder.

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