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101 Statistics about TMJD in 2021

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Did you know that 1 out of every 12 people in the United States is currently affected by temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJD)? Interested in learning more about TMJD? We know finding facts and figures about TMJD can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we put together this list of the top 101 facts, notes, and statistics so you can easily reference them and refer back to them any time in the future.  This space is constantly changing, so if you see a fact that is not up-to-date, feel free to let us know. And if you know a stat that we should add, let us know that too!

1. TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) is a broad term that refers to pain and dysfunction of the masticatory muscles (the muscles that move the jaw) and the temporomandibular joints (the joints which connect the mandible to the skull).

*The most important feature is pain, followed by restricted mandibular movement and noises from the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) during jaw movement. Although TMD is not life-threatening, it can be detrimental to quality of life; this is because the symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage.

2. 1 out of every 12 people in the United States are currently affected by a TMJ disorder.

*That’s 12% of the country’s population and equals about 35 million people. This number may be low too due to countless undiagnosed cases.

3. TMJ disorders are four times more common in women than it is for men.

4. More than 90% of patients who are seeking treatment for their TMJ disorder are women in their childbearing years.

5. Only about 50 to 60% of people with a TMJ disorder will seek treatment.

*Those who don’t get treatment continue to live with painful side effects. In fact, 15% of those left untreated will even develop a chronic TMJ disorder.

6. It is estimated that for every 100 million working adults in the United States, TMJ disorders contribute to 17.8 million lost work days annually.

7. Dentists may diagnose TMJD.

*Even though the jaw joints aren’t usually covered by dentistry, your dentist may be more qualified than other medical practitioners to diagnose and treat TMJD. This is because there’s no widely accepted and standardized test to identify TMJ disorders [2], and your dentist may be more familiar with the underlying cause if it’s related to an oral health problem.

INFOGRAPHIC Balfour Dental - 101 Statist

8. There’s No Single Treatment for TMJD.

*Pinpointing the cause of your TMJ disorder is vital for getting successful treatment. Since finding the cause can be tricky, treatment planning isn’t any easier. What’s more, there’s no consensus on whether certain treatments are effective in all cases.

9. There’s no single cause for TMJD.

*If you have an oral health problem like a cavity or bleeding gums, it’s obvious to your dentist what the cause is. Unfortunately, TMJ problems aren’t that straightforward. TMJD usually involves the jaw joints being misaligned or damaged, but this can happen for many reasons.

10. Your jaw doesn’t necessarily need to pop or click for there to be something wrong.

*The truth is that there are many symptoms of a TMJ disorder and having a jaw that makes noises is just one of them. Some signs of a TMJ problem may not even seem related initially.

11. Surgery is not the only relief option for TMJD.

*There are many other, more conservative relief options for TMJ disorders. Traditionally, many of these will be recommended by a dentist or other healthcare professional trained in TMJD.

12. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain must be distinguished from pain that more commonly arises from the muscles of mastication (myofascial pain), which can produce similar signs and symptoms.

*TMJ pain also must be distinguished from pain that originates in the ear or parotid gland.

13. TMJ pain and masticatory muscle pain usually are accompanied by limitation of mouth opening, but pain arising from the ear or parotid gland is not.

14. Most major systemic arthropathies can also involve the TMJ and thereby give rise to pain and limited jaw movement.

15. Displacement of the intra-articular disk in the TMJ produces pain that is accompanied by a clicking or popping sound or the sudden onset of jaw locking.

16. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) occurs when there is some type of pain or decreased functionality of the jaw, either due to pathology within the joint itself (intra-articular) or due to the surrounding musculature (extra-articular).

17. Each year, TMJ patients spend approximately $4 billion dollars on treatments and surgeries that have varying levels of efficacy.

18. TMJD is the most common cause of facial pain and is second only to lower back pain as the most common painful musculoskeletal condition.

*If you suffer from the symptoms of TMJ, there are a number of factors you’ll want to understand before deciding on a course of treatment. 

19. 20 to 30 percent of the population deals with symptoms of temporomandibular disorders.

20. TMJD Symptom: TMJ patients have reported pain in the forehead and/or temples, migraine-like discomfort, sinus pain, cheek pain, and a shooting sensation traveling from the back of the neck into the head.

*Some people also find that their hair and scalp feel tender.

21. TMJD Symptom: People with TMJD might notice that their eyes are bloodshot or sensitive to light.

*An improperly situated temporomandibular joint may also cause one’s eyes to bulge.

22. TMJD Symptom: Along with general ear pain, some people say their ears feel clogged or itchy.

*TMJ patients also report changes in their hearing, including hissing, buzzing, or ringing(tinnitus). A misaligned TMJ can also contribute to dizziness.

23. TMJD Symptom: People suffering from TMJD often experience limited mobility.

*Some of the classic indicators of TMJ are trouble opening the mouth smoothly, the jaw shifting to one side or the other when opening the mouth, or having the jaw lock closed or open. TMJ can also cause grating sounds, clicks or pops in your joints, and uncontrollable movements of the jaw and/or tongue.

24. TMJD Symptom: Loose or sore back teeth are a common symptom of TMJD, and bruxism (teeth clenching or grinding) may exacerbate the condition.

25. TMJD Symptom: TMJ patients may have difficulty swallowing or have a sore throat without any other infection that might be the cause of discomfort. Laryngitis may also occur.

26. TMJD Symptom: People with TMJD may experience neck stiffness and pain and tired or sore neck muscles.

27. TMJD Symptom: Arm and finger numbness sometimes occur in TMJD patients.

*Many patients also experience shoulder soreness and backaches, particularly if posture is a contributing factor to their TMJD.

28. TMJD surgery option: Arthrocentesis – this outpatient procedure is the least invasive of TMJ surgeries.

*A doctor will add fluid to lubricate the joint by inserting a small needle into the joint. Arthrocentesis can also be used to remove painful irritants inside the joint.

29. TMJD surgery option: Disc repositioning – if the cushioning disc of your TMJ is out of place, this procedure may be recommended.

*A doctor will put the disc back into its proper position and secure it with a suture. This procedure generally requires a hospital stay. 

30. TMJD surgery option: Condylotomy – if you experience locking of the jaw or restricted movement, a condylotomy may be performed.

*During this inpatient procedure, a doctor will carefully and intentionally fracture the jawbone to reposition it.

31. TMJD surgery option: Discectomy – this inpatient surgery is followed by a long recovery.

*During this procedure, the doctor will remove the joint’s cushioning disc in an effort to coax your body to replace it with new cushioning. After your surgery, your jaw may need to be wired shut.

32. TMJD surgery option – Joint replacement – this most invasive of TMJ surgeries may involve reshaping your joint, removing diseased parts of the bone, or prosthetics that replace parts of the jawbone.

*This TMJ surgery is followed by a recovery period that can be four weeks or more, and often requires lifelong dietary restrictions as well.

33. TMJD exercises: Forward jaw movement – with a thin object between your front teeth, move your bottom jaw forward.

*As your jaw becomes accustomed to the movement, use a thicker object between your teeth. 

34. TMJD exercises: Side-to-side jaw movement – with a thin object between your front teeth, move your jaw from side to side.

*As your jaw becomes accustomed to this movement, increase the thickness of the object between your teeth.

35. TMJD exercises: Opening the mouth with resistance – with your thumb providing gentle resistance under your chin, open your mouth slowly.

*Hold for 3-5 seconds, then slowly close your mouth.

36. TMJD exercises: Closing the mouth with resistance: While squeezing your chin with the thumb and index finger of one hand, close your mouth while applying gentle pressure.

37. TMJD exercises: Mouth movement with tongue up – slowly open and close your mouth as you press your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

38. TMJD exercises: Chin tucks – create a double chin by pulling your chin straight back.

*Be sure to keep your shoulders back and your chest open.

39. TMJD exercises: “Goldfish” exercises: There are both partial and full versions of this exercise.

*Both begin with placing a finger on your chin and your temporomandibular joint. While gently pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth, partially or fully drop your jaw. 

40. TMJD exercises: Relaxed jaw exercise – while resting your tongue behind the front of your top teeth, let your teeth come apart as your jaw relaxes.

41. Though the symptoms of TMJD are painful, it’s estimated that only 15 percent of patients will develop chronic TMJ disorder.

42. From 2005 to 2014, the number of patients that received a total joint replacement (TJR) increased by over 38 percent, and the number is only predicted to rise in the coming years.

*Despite the risks associated with invasive procedures, the frequency of TMJ surgeries is growing.

43. One study published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery indicated that by 2024, the rate of this type of TMJ surgery will increase by an additional 38 percent.

44. Stress is thought to be a factor in TMJD.

*Even strenuous physical tasks, such as lifting a heavy object or stressful situations, can aggravate TMJ by causing overuse of jaw muscles, specifically clenching or grinding teeth.

45. In about 90% of cases, your description of symptoms, combined with a simple physical examination of face and jaw by your dentist, provides useful information for diagnosing these disorders, according to the Delta Dental Plans Association.

46. In about 90% of cases, your description of symptoms, combined with a simple physical examination of face and jaw by your dentist, provides useful information for diagnosing these disorders, according to the Delta Dental Plans Association.

47. The inability to open wide without pain is a common TMD patient complaint and clinical finding.

*Such limitations when opening may be the result of muscle hyperactivity or strain that prevents a patient from opening a normal distance. When measuring the opening distance, the incisal vertical overlap is added to the incisal edge-to-incisal edge measurement; 40 mm is considered minimum of normal for an adult of normal stature. 

48. About 15% of individuals with TMD pain report that they have had at least one locking episode.

*Catching or locking within the TMJ may occur upon opening or closing and there are several potential causes for these. This interference to smooth condylar movement may vary from a momentary catching to a continuous lock.

49. Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) are a set of common musculoskeletal conditions of the masticatory system for which 3.6 to 7.0% of the general population desire treatment.

50. In a large study of adults (1,016) conducted in Seattle, WA, females had higher rates of TMD pain at all ages, including a peak prevalence of 18% in the 25-44 year old group, compared with 10% of males for the same ages.

51. Depending on the cause of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, treatment modalities could differ and be handled by different professionals.

*Simple treatments can be initiated by a general dentist. If the disorder is more serious, it may be handled by an oral surgeon, orthodontist or orofacial pain specialist. 

52. By some estimates, temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJ) is fairly common, affecting more than 10 million people in the U.S.

*You may be more likely to get TMJ if you have rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia. Women are affected more often than men. Most people with TMJ are between the ages of 20 and 40.

53. Having arthritis and fibromyalgia may increase a person’s risk of developing temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder.

*Arthritis is a degenerative disease that can inflame and damage the joints. If arthritis impairs the temporomandibular joint, TMJ can result. Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by chronic pain. It, too, can lead to TMJ.

54. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) symptoms may initially be noticed by your dentist, orthodontist or other dental specialists.

*If your symptoms are serious, you may be referred to an oral surgeon or an orofacial pain specialist.

55. Global TMJ Disorders Market was valued at USD 650.07 Million in 2019 and is expected to register a CAGR of 4.18 % during the forecast period of 2020 to 2027.

56. The research article published by BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders states that the prevalence of myofascial pain is up to 85% of the general population across the world, fueling the growth of the myofascial pain segment.

57. The Americas held the largest share of 49.20% of the TMJ disorder market in 2019.

*This share can be attributed to the introduction and rapid adoption of advanced treatments in the region.

58. Europe held the second-largest position in the TMJ disorder market in 2019 owing to the huge spending on healthcare and a well-developed medical industry in the region.

*Increasing cases of TMJ disorder is leading the market growth in the region. The accessibility to advanced diagnostic and therapeutic options is also playing an important role in the growth of this market.

59. Asia-Pacific is anticipated to register the highest growth rate over the forecast period from 2020 to 2027.

*This is owing to the high incidence of TMJ disorder, increased government initiative, and the presence of a large number of pharmaceutical companies. Various initiatives taken by the government to support the healthcare system are also fueling the growth of the regional market. 

60. As per the report published at pub by the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, TMD pain was found in 14·8% (n = 817) of the Chinese sample from a total number of 5,524 samples.

*This high prevalence in the Asia-Pacific region is propelling the growth of the regional TMJ disorder market.

61. The TMJ disorder market in the Middle East & Africa is growing steadily in the past few years.

*The key factors propelling the growth of this market are the high prevalence of TMJ disorder and funding by private players and government bodies.

62. The prominent players in the global TMJ Disorders market are Abbott Laboratories, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Allergan, Bayer AG, Zydus Cadila, Mylan NV, Novartis International AG, and Jubilant Life Sciences Limited.

63. TMJ NextGeneration™ is a first-of-its-kind, FDA cleared medical device that is a safe and effective aid in reducing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) pain.

*The device consists of two custom-made, hollow ear canal inserts that allow full passage of sound and are practically invisible from the outside.

64. The TMJ NextGeneration™ Device takes a different approach in treating TMJD.

*The ear canal is located very close to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the volume of the ear canal increases when the jaw is opened through movements such as chewing, smiling, and speaking. The TMJ NextGeneration™ Device uses this anatomical change to provide a unique near field treatment for TMJD.

65. Patients wearing the TMJ NextGeneration™  in a three month clinical study experienced a significant reduction in the pain and dysfunction associated with TMJD, to an extent at least as much as that experienced by patients wearing a bite splint.

66. In addition to the pain reduction, 100% of subjects indicated excellent (71%) or good (29%) overall satisfaction with the TMJ NextGeneration™ device.

67. A population study in Finland demonstrated that between 5% and 9% of patients with TMJD complained of aural fullness.

68. Additional symptoms included tinnitus (12-17%) and otalgia (12-16%). These symptoms can also occur in Eustachian tube dysfunction.

69. TMJ Treatment: Apply moist heat or cold packs for about 5 minutes to your jaw muscles after doing some gentle stretching exercises.

70. TMJ Treatment: Eat softer foods, avoiding hard, crunchy items and things like chewing gum.

71. TMJ Treatment: Use medications to alleviate jaw pain.

*For instance, the Cleveland Clinic reports that over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen can help with muscle pain and swelling. Muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety drugs—both of which are only available by prescription—can also be useful for those who grind/clench their teeth or those who experience a lot of stress.

72. TMJ Treatment: Night guards prevent upper and lower teeth from coming together, reducing clenching and grinding.

*They also correct patients’ bites, putting the teeth in an optimal position.

73. A diagnosis of TMJ is primarily based on a patient’s history and a clinical examination of the head and neck.

*Sometimes images of the teeth and jaws are used as a diagnostic tool.

74. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are common, in some studies affecting approximately 25 percent of adults.

*TMD is associated with substantial morbidity, affecting quality of life and work productivity.

75. It is estimated that for every 100 million working adults in the United States, TMD contributes to 17.8 million lost work days annually.

76. TMJ is the body part, not the disorder.

*A common mistake that people make is referring to TMJ as the disorder itself. But the truth is, every person should have a TMJ. This is known as the temporomandibular joint, or the joint that attaches the mandible to the skull. The correct way to refer to the condition is TMJ disorder, TMJ dysfunction, or TMD.

77. Pain from TMD extends to other parts of the body.

*Since our bones and muscles are connected, people who have a TMJ disorder might feel pain in areas other than their jaws. The pain brought about by a TMJ disorder could be felt in the neck, ear, face, and can even cause migraines. For some, the pain extends down to the upper back and shoulders. 

78. A TMJ disorder affects the jaw’s range of motion.

*Other than the pain that it causes, TMD can prevent you from using your jaw in its full range of motion. There are movements of the jaw that will be restricted. This can affect your ability to chew your food or even speak. 

79. Neck injuries can cause TMJD.

*Different issues can cause TMJ disorders, and one of the most common causes is having an accident or injury. Even if the accident did not directly hit the jaw, injuries to the neck could also give you TMJ problems which can explain why TMJ pain extends to other parts of the body such as the neck.

80. Bruxism can bring TMJ pain.

*When stressed, a person may exhibit bruxism, or teeth grinding. This condition can lead to having jaw pain as well as affecting the teeth by wearing them away, which can result in tooth loss. If this is the cause of the TMJ pain, the best course of action to take is to undergo stress relief techniques and wearing a mouthguard to bed.

81. A soft diet can relieve some cases of TMD.

*A TMJ disorder is not always a chronic condition. A tired jaw may just cause it. To fix this, eat softer food for a few days to ease the exertion of the jaw. If it does not work, then there might be a different underlying cause.

82. TMJD can cause sleep problems.

*Bruxism is not the only sleep issue that could come with TMD. It has been found that people with TMJ problems are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Researchers do not know the exact relationship between the two. It could be that jaw problems lead to OSA, or that people with OSA are more likely to have jaw problems. Regardless of the relationship, TMD causing sleep problems may result in headaches or even migraines, which is a common occurrence for TMD patients.

83. TMJD might stem from neck problems.

*As we have already established, TMJ disorders can be due to an accident or injury, and one of the most common symptoms is neck pain. This would lead us to the conclusion that the neck may be the source of the pain. The atlas (C1) vertebra is near the TMJ, facial nerves, and ears. The misalignment of this vertebra can cause pain in the upper back and shoulders. It would not be a stretch to consider the misalignment of the atlas as the cause of the common symptoms of TMD.

84. Natural TMJD relief is available.

*There are home remedies readily available to bring relief to TMJ pain, such as eating softer food for the time being, not using your jaw as much temporarily, massaging the jaw, and applying ice to ease the inflammation. 

85. TMJD is not a one-size-fits-all condition.

*Unlike many diseases and disorders, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder does not refer to a single ailment but is instead an umbrella term used to diagnose any variety of pain associated with the muscles and joints that move the jaw and connect the mandible to the skull, known as the muscles of mastication and temporomandibular joints. It is because of its broad and sweeping definition that most professionals disagree on proper treatment and likely causes.

86. An estimated 85% of all TMJD cases are said to have been acquired.

*Because the prevalence of TMJ is so widespread, it would seem likely that there would be a thorough understanding as to how it develops. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of evidence that can pinpoint its exact source or sources. In fact, it’s rare to find two doctors who whole-heartedly agree on its root cause. However, most professionals can attest to the fact that genetic factors as well as behavioral factors contribute to its onset. According to recent studies, it is believed that nearly 85% of all TMJ cases were acquired, with only 15% being a direct result of genetic factors. So that means you probably can’t blame your TMJ on your parents but rather on particular elements or lifestyle choices.

87. Smoking exacerbates the effects of TMJD.

*Considering taking up the habit of smoking? Well, consider this as just one more reason not to: smokers are more prone to the effects of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder than those individuals who avoid the use of tobacco products. In addition, current sufferers of the condition who smoke reported a more severe degree of pain than those who don’t, according to a recent 2013 study conducted at the University of Kentucky.

88. Nail biting has been linked with the onset of TMJD.

*Like smoking, the nasty habit of biting one’s nails has also been found to be a direct cause of the jaw and joint pain associated with TMJ. This is due to the fact that the muscular system attached to the temporomandibular region was not designed for the gnawing and chewing associated with nail biting. Our mouths were intended to be used to chew food and swallow drinks, so any action in which the mouth is being utilized as a tool – including using one’s teeth as a nail clipper – puts added and unnatural strain that contributes to jaw and neck pain.

89. There is no cure for TMJD.

*The pain and discomfort associated with TMJ is not something that can be alleviated with a quick fix solution. Rather, pain management and successful prolonged treatment approaches are often utilized until the pain is alleviated or reduced. Again, because the diagnosis is so broad and because it’s causes are largely unknown, there are numerous approaches that have been utilized to provide relief, including pain medication, physical therapy, surgery, cognitive-behavioral therapy, hypnosis and relaxation techniques, just to name a few.

90. The maxillofacial surgeon may take the further analyses such as detailed occlusion analyses, detailed analyses of TMJ movements, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT), additional consultations with other specialists.

*The treatment plan is discussed with the patient after the detailed analysis of the situation and, if it is necessary, the surgical treatment is applied.

91. TMJ arthroscopy (TMJ Arthroscopic Surgery) – is a surgical procedure that is performed on the TMJ or jaw joint that involves using a small, bendable tube with a camera on the end to see inside the jaw and make other procedures.

92. Exercising, listening to music, reading, meditating, and/or other leisure activities can help reduce stress that often contributes to TMD problems.

93. In the 1970s and ‘80s, it was common for people to be told that the source of any jaw ache was their TMJ.

*Physicians and dentists alike believed that to get rid of the pain, the bite needed to be fixed. As a result, many patients underwent all kinds of operations and dental work – including orthodontia, crowns and even the grinding down of teeth in an attempt to alter the bite.

94. Treatments for TMJD vary depending on the cause of your pain.

*Because the causes are so numerous, treatment for TMJ disorder is specific to the type and cause of your pain. Some treatments involve the use of computers and high-tech devices to reprogram your muscles, while others are closer related to physical therapy and manual corrections. You should speak with your dentist before attempting any treatments if you suspect you may have a jaw joint dysfunction.

95. There is not one specific cause of TMJ disorder.

*There are many myths surrounding jaw joint complications, most of which have been dispelled. However, it has been discovered that there are many factors that may cause you to have a form of temporomandibular joint disorder. Basically, anything that places stress on your teeth and facial muscles places you at risk of developing a problem with your jaw joints. Bruxism (grinding your teeth), malocclusion, head injuries, and arthritis are some of the most commonly associated diagnoses.

96. The TMJ consists of a disc that lies between the temporal bone and the condyle (the ends of the lower jaw). This disc absorbs shock and helps the jaw to move smoothly as it opens and closes.

97. Other parts of the TMJ system include joints, ligaments, bone, and muscle.

98. TMJ can disappear on its own.

*While there are treatments out there that can alleviate TMJ pain, they are not always necessary. In many cases, TMJ pain will go away on its own. However, eliminating sources of stress that lead to clenching and grinding can often treat chronic TMJ pain.

99. TMJ can cause ear pain.

*TMJ disorders don’t just lead to jaw pain. TMJ may also be responsible for pain around your ears, headaches, tooth sensitivity, and neck aches.

100. TMJ affects more women than men.

TMJ affects twice as many more women than men. This ratio is particularly pronounced among women of childbearing age.

101. TMJ disorder can cause the jaw to pop, lock, and have difficulty moving.

This can result in headaches, dizziness, ringing ears, and pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulders.

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