Tmj disorder

You can be pain-free!

TMJ Disorder and TMJ Pain

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) is a huge name for a condition that affects the two tiny joints of the jaw. Symptoms can vary, and are often associated with pain or a clicking jaw.

What is the TMJ?

Temporomandibular joints (commonly abbreviated as TMJ) are the ball and socket joints that connect the upper and lower jaws to the temporal bones of the skull. Everyone has them and they can be found, on each side of the head, just in front of the ear. These joints are critical for our ability to move the jaw up and down, side to side, and back and forth.

The temporomandibular joint motions are necessary for normal functions like chewing, making facial expressions, yawning, breathing, and even speaking. In each TMJ, there is a small circle of cartilage that serves a cushion for your jaw as it moves, preventing your jawbone from rubbing against your skull.

Did you know?

You can locate your TMJ joints by placing a finger in front of each ear and opening and closing your jaw. If your TMJs are in good condition, your jaw muscles will move your jaw smoothly up and down, back and forth, and side to side.

The effects of TMJD often go beyond the jaw into the ear, head, shoulders and even the back of most sufferers…

Learn more about the symptoms of TMJD

What is TMJD?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly abbreviated as TMJD) is a painful and uncomfortable condition caused when one or both TMJ joints become inflamed due to misalignment or injury. This occurs when the jaw is out of its natural place or teeth are crooked or crowded. The most common cause of the TMJD is bite malocclusion more commonly known as a bad bite. When this occurs, the muscles of the jaw are strained because they are forced to hold the jaw in an unnatural position. Symptoms of the disorder are similar to other health conditions and are often misdiagnosed.

Long-term TMJD can cause arthritis and chronic pain for patients if not treated. The exact number of people affected by TMJD is unknown, however, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that about 10 million Americans suffer from the condition.

Dr. Alexandra S. George, Cosmetic Dentist

Advanced TMJD Education

Dr. Alexandra has attended the world-renowned Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI) and has completed more than 400 education hours, becoming one of the few dentists in the world to earn the LVI Fellow distinction. She specializes in treating TMJD using a neuromuscular approach and advanced technology to find and treat the source of your pain.

We can help you live pain-free with our specialized TMJD treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have TMJ disorder?

You may have TMJ disorder if you experience pain, a clicking sound in your jaw, difficulty chewing, or discomfort in front of the ear. TMJ can be identified by placing a finger in front of each ear and opening and closing your jaw. Discomfort or irregular movement might indicate TMJD.

What causes TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder is often caused by misalignment or injury to the jaw, leading to inflammation in one or both temporomandibular joints. A common cause is bite malocclusion (a bad bite), where crooked or crowded teeth force the jaw muscles to hold the jaw in an unnatural position.

Can TMJ disorder be treated without surgery?

Yes, TMJ disorder can often be treated without surgery. Treatments may include neuromuscular approaches, physical therapy, dental corrections like bite adjustments, or oral appliances to alleviate joint strain.

Can TMJ disorder affect other aspects of my health?

Yes, TMJ disorder can affect other aspects of your health, extending beyond the jaw to cause ear pain, headaches, neck and shoulder discomfort, and even back pain. Long-term TMJD without treatment can lead to arthritis and chronic pain.

Can stress be a factor in TMJ disorder?

Yes, stress can be a significant factor in TMJ disorder. It can lead to behaviors like jaw clenching or teeth grinding, which put additional strain on the TMJ joints, exacerbating symptoms and discomfort.