Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Risk Factors for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

A risk factor is something that raises a person's chances of getting a disease or health problem. A person can have TMD with or without the risks below. The more risks a person has, the greater the chances are.

TMD is most common in those aged 20 to 40 years old. It is also more common in women. Other things that raise the risk of TMD are:

Stress-related Habits

Some habits that may raise the risk are:

  • Clenching and unclenching the jaw
  • Biting the lip
  • Biting fingernails
  • Grinding teeth during the day—or at night in sleep
  • Chewing things like gum or hard candy for a long time


  • Temporomandibular disorders. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.aaoms.org/docs/practice_resources/clinical_resources/tmd_disorders.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2022.
  • Temporomandibular disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/temporomandibular-disorders. Accessed May 13, 2022.
  • Temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) pain. ENThealth—American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/tmj. Accessed May 13, 2022.
  • TMJ. Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tmj. Accessed May 13, 2022.
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/tmd. Accessed May 13, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.