The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the jaw joint that connects your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull and allows you to open and close your mouth. Issues associated with your TMJ are known as temporomandibular disorder or TMD. This disorder affects many Americans but is more common among women than men. A major cause of TMD comes from stress. Stress can prompt patients to clench their jaw throughout the day and at night without them even realizing it. This eventually causes cartilage to break down and can impact the functionality of your TMJ, like opening and closing your mouth. We recommend patients wear a night guard to keep them from clenching and grinding their teeth and alleviate some pain or discomfort caused by TMD. The night guard prevents individuals from putting excessive pressure on their TMJ. Signs and symptoms of TMD include:
Signs and Symptoms
Sore or tight muscles of mastication (muscles used to chew)
Jaw locking open or closed
Clicking or popping of joint when opening or closing mouth
Limited opening of mouth
Pain when chewing
Palpate muscles of mastication (chewing muscles)
Palpate joint (check for clicking, popping, grating)
Joint Loading test
Our team checks for TMJ issues at each visit and perform a TMJ exam if patients experience TMD symptoms.
Each patient is different and treatment for individuals suffering from TMD may vary. Some treatments we offer include:
Occlusal equilibration (adjusting bite) after a comprehensive occlusal evaluation
In need of immediate care?
We provide emergency phone consultation services after working hours and on weekends. Call us at our office (831) 724-6000