A TMJ related injury can happen at any age, whether it's at birth or old age. At The Piper Clinic, we see patients of various ages with TMJ-related injuries.
Newborns can sustain a TMJ injury during birth. If you or your child were delivered using forceps, this surgical instrument could have caused your TMJ injury.
As soon as toddlers learn to walk and talk, every table, chair, step, or stool becomes dangerous obstacle to conquer. A toddler can easily lose balance while climbing a chair and fall on their chin. The impact of the chin hitting the floor could also damage the temporomandibular joint. This damage can cause a growth defect, leading to facial deformity and TMJ pain later in life. Except for congenital abnormalities, all temporomandibular joints start out as normally growing and developing structures.
Just like a toddler’s, a child's jaw is still growing. A TMJ injury could halt or slow the growth of mandible. An injury at this age could cause facial deformity and TMJ pain later in life. At this age, children typically incur trauma from playing sports, dental procedures, and other accidents.
The TMJ has finished growing by the late teens. This is the age when a childhood trauma’s effect on the TMJ becomes more apparent. The patient will start to show TMD symptoms: jaw pain, bite problems, profile changes. Teens with TMJ issues unrelated to a childhood trauma, may have problems due to a recent trauma. These types of trauma are often related to sports, dental procedures and accidents.
Childhood TMJ traumas also start to crop up in college students and young adults. These patients can also experience additional trauma due to sports, dental procedures and accidents.
Middle age, mature, and elderly adults are certainly at risk of causing trauma to their TMJs; however, at these ages, the TMJs begin to show further signs and symptoms caused by past traumas.