Why TMJ Might Develop on Just One Side
Ideally, the temporomandibular joints should be closely matched. The two should experience balanced forces that don’t impact one more than the other. However, it’s really not uncommon for people to have uneven forces on their jaw joints.
One of the biggest causes of uneven force on the jaw joints is trauma. You might get hit on one side of the jaw, causing serious trauma to one of the jaw joints. Ironically, though, that might not be the joint that ends up causing problems. It’s also possible that when one joint gets hurt, you might favor it, and in the process create a habit of stressing the other jaw joint. The repeated stress on this jaw joint can then lead to damage.
Speaking of habits, your habits can lead to damage to one jaw joint over the other. If you are right-handed, for example, you might be more likely to chew on the nails of your right hand, or put a pen in the right side of your mouth and then bite down on it. This can create imbalanced forces on the jaw joints.
It’s not just your hands that are affected by handedness, either. Many people tend to chew on one side of their mouth much more than the other. This doesn’t just show up when you’re chewing, either. If you have bruxism, you’re likely clenching and grinding more on one side than the other, too.