Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most complex and frequently used joints in the body. Every time you talk, chew, or swallow, these joints on each side of your head allow the lower jaw to move. However, any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder called TMD.

Several conditions can contribute to TMD which include arthritis, dislocation or injuries to head and neck area, stress and teeth grinding, and the relationship of the upper and lower teeth fitting together. All of these conditions can cause various degrees of pain and dysfunction.

Symptoms may include:

  • Tooth pain and tooth sensitivity.
  • Excessive tooth wear.
  • Jaw pain or soreness.
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joint.
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears.
  • Neck or shoulder pain.
  • Radiant pain in the extremities.
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth.
  • Bruxism (Grinding and clinching the teeth).
  • Migraines or tension headaches.

There are several treatments for TMJ disorders. They may include stress-reducing exercises, lifestyle adjustments, wearing a mouth protector to prevent teeth grinding, orthodontic treatment, medication or in extreme cases, surgery. In many cases, only minor, relatively non-invasive treatment may be needed to help reduce the pain.

Please feel free to contact our office for all your dental needs!

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