TMJ Isn’t Hereditary: Here’s Why

Dr. Amy Hartsfield talking with patient

TMJ Isn’t Hereditary: Here’s Why

TMJ Isn’t Hereditary

A common misconception about TMJ is that it’s a hereditary disorder. It’s true, some sufferers of TMJ have relatives who also suffer. However, TMJ isn’t inevitable if your family member has it, and oftentimes, relief from TMJ is within your control.

Female patient complaining to doctor about sore throat and other symptoms of flu

The key to understanding this is to look at what causes your TMJ in the first place. Do you clench or grind your teeth a lot? This is typically what causes TMJ. Perhaps you lead a stressful life, so you clench your jaw subconsciously. Or maybe your jaw is set or shaped a certain way, so you naturally clench your teeth regularly to compensate. Maybe you were in an accident and your jaw was jarred a certain way, causing pain and habitual grinding/clenching. TMJ can also be referred pain from another source.

These are all factors you can change. And while there may be a history of hypertension or high blood pressure or over bite/under bite in your family that aggravates your TMJ, it doesn’t mean it is entirely hereditary. You don’t have to suffer through life with TMJ. There is hope and there is treatment!

Once you figure out the root cause of your own personal TMJ, you can work with your doctor to determine what treatment is right for you.