Your dentist will take X-rays of the mouth to check for dental problems and bite abnormalities. Your dentist may notice an imbalance in the way your teeth come together with higher pressure in one or both jaws and temporomandibular (TM) joints. Or if you are missing teeth on one side, causing an abnormal chewing motion, it may create increased pressure on the other side of the mouth and result in TMD pain.
Stress is a major and common cause of jaw pain and TMD. Stress can result in clenching the teeth during the day or grinding the teeth at night (bruxism), and can cause increased tension in the muscles in your face, neck, and jaw. Your doctor or dentist will check your joints and muscles for clicking or popping sounds. Your dentist may make an impression of your teeth to see how your bite fits together. Your dentist may also need to take more X-rays of the TM joints to look for inflammation or abnormalities.