Trauma regarding TMJ Causes is any physical trauma to the body which can affect the TMJ. This usually is trauma to the jaw/head, neck, shoulders, and back. One of the more common causes for trauma situations, is the neck such as a Whiplash incident.
Most any Medical problem with those areas...neck, shoulders, back and head can affect the head and jaw muscles to alter their function and maybe ultimately with pain or TMJ syndromes.
Any tissue trauma or damage to these body parts and muscles associated with them can and does affect the muscles in the TMJ jaw joint....How?
Well, the back and neck of course are very closely related. When the lower back goes out, it can affect the neck. When the neck muscles are affected or traumatized, that can affect the jaw muscles by the nerve signals that go to the brain.
The nerves in the jaw muscles and neck muscles do affect each other and alter their function. That Trauma or stress on the body ultimately affects the jaw and head muscles with Tension.
Now, of course, every trauma or whiplash incident does not result in a TMJ case, it just depends on the case.
When Trauma to the back and neck are involved I recommend that the patient sees a qualified Chiropractor, and/or a physical therapist depending on the injury and need.
Then the direct trauma to the Jaw is an obvious TMJ cause, and these cases are very simple to diagnose. Again, depending on the situation, the appropriate TMJ treatment will be recommended.
TMJ xrays are taken and checked for fractures etc. In 15 years of treating TMJ patients, I've only personally treated one fractured ramus of the mandible. So, it is not common, but it does happen.
Sometimes just opening your mouth for long appointments in the Dental Chair can cause muscles fatigue resulting in TMJ symptoms.
One court case in which I was a special witness for, the prosecuting attorney tried to prove that sitting in the chair too long was "Trauma", but he lost that one.
But it did show that under normal circumstances, and just being a good patient with your mouth wide open, can cause fatigue and strain on the muscles enough to compromise the body's immunity to possibly result in TMJ symptoms.