Temporomandibular Disorders (TMJ)

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) commonly called “TMJ,” are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. For most people with TMD, it is a short duration of discomfort in and around the jaw joints that is cyclical and clears up on its own. For a few the pain can be chronic and significant.

Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches and ringing in the ears
  • pain and soreness in and around the joints
  • limited movement or locking of the jaw
  • clicking, popping or a grating sound in the joints
  • Facial head and neck pain
  • loosening of the teeth
  • Dizziness

Some helpful home remedies are:

  • Take OTC medications such as Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like naproxen or ibuprofen, which can relieve muscle pain and swelling.
  • apply an ice pack for 10 minutes then place hot a moist towel on the side of face for 5 minutes. Do this 3-4 times a day.
  • eat a soft diet, staying away from sticky and chewy foods.
  • Keep your teeth apart releasing pressure from your jaw.
  • If you have a mild form of TMD, that clears up on its own, it is advised to have it checked before it can lead to more severe problems. Call our office for for an appointment if you suspect you have TMD problems.

When treating TMD we believe a conservative and minimally invasive approach is best. Diagnosing the cause is the first step, then a plan can be tailor made for each patient.

A centric relation (CR) splint is made so when your bite on the splint is in harmony with the movements of your joint. This step is also used to diagnose the cause. If you are still having problems when wearing the splint we will order test for any internal disease of the joint (about 5% of cases).  

When your symptoms are gone we will determine what needs to be done to have the teeth be in harmony with your joint. This will include removing any dis-harmonies in way your teeth guide the movements of your jaw. In mild cases we will grind down minute areas of the teeth to get rid of dis-harmonies (called an equilibration). In moderate case we will placing fillings or crowns to synchronize the teeth to the joint. In severe case it may be best to move the teeth with braces or invisalign

If you are having sings of TMJ problems, contact our office for an appointment.


Centric Relation Splint

We are dedicated to giving each of our patients the beautiful, healthy smile they deserve!