TMJ Disorders

Pointing to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on a model school

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull. TMJ disorders often cause discomfort in the cheek, jaw, or ear areas and can affect normal jaw function.

With all the stress that we put our joints through, patients may not realize that the soreness or pain they are experiencing in their jaw or ears may be due to stress on their temporomandibular joint. Our doctors can help alleviate the stress and pain with lifestyle changes and oral appliance therapy.

Signs and symptoms
of TMJ disorders:

  • Headaches
  • Pain in or around the ears
  • Facial pain or soreness in the jaw
  • Tightness in jaws
  • Popping sounds
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Difficulty chewing

Three categories of
TMJ Conditions:

  • Myofascial pain - Grinding teeth can result in this type of TMJ disorder
  • Internal derangement of the joint - A possible indicator of a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle
  • Arthritis - A degenerative inflammatory disorder

Treatment of TMJ Disorders

  • Lifestyle Changes and Nonsurgical Treatments

    • Eating soft foods
    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Applying ice or heat to the joint
    • Physical therapy
    • Avoiding extreme jaw movements
    • BOTOX® injections
    • Stabilization splints

  • Custom Oral Appliances

    Our office can create custom-fitted night guards to alleviate stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which may be causing soreness or pain. Typically worn at night, these removable acrylic appliances can help provide relief from TMJ pain as well as other effects of teeth grinding or snoring.