Temporomandibular Disorders and Oro-facial Pain Disorders

The TMJ or Temporomandibular joint is on both sides of the face that connects the lower jawbone with the skull. It is found right in front of your ears and along with the surrounding musculature, assists in movement of the jaw during chewing, talking, yawning, etc.
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) involve the jaw joints and the surrounding muscles and ligaments. It impacts the functionality of the joint in harmony with adjacent structures and occurs when the muscles, cartilage, TMJ disc and ligaments become inflamed and irritated. This results in pain which can be acute or chronic and mild to severe.

What causes Temporomandibular Disorders?
  1. Trauma to the jaw
  2. Bruxism (grinding of the teeth) and/or clenching
  3. Arthritis of the joint
  4. Wear and tear of the joint over a period of time
  5. Jaw dislocation
  6. Improper bite
  7. Stress
  8. Sleep Disorders
How do I know if I may have a Temporomandibular Disorder?
  1. jaw tenderness (most commonly in the morning and afternoon)
  2. facial pain/ Orofacial pain/ myofascial pain
  3. headaches and earaches
  4. shoulder and neck pain
  5. >locking of the jaw when opening wide
  6. Difficulty in opening the mouth
  7. clicking/popping/grating noises when opening and closing the mouth
  8. Fatigue feeling in the face
  9. Ringing of the ears or tinnitus
  10. Changes in the bite
  11. Facial swelling
  12. Tooth Pain

In order to diagnose and effectively treat a TMD, the underlying reason for the condition must be identified. At American Smiles, our team consists of TMJ Specialists who have years of experience specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of Temporomandibular disorders. We conduct a careful, precise and in-depth clinical and radiographic examination with a thorough medical and dental history in order to arrive at the correct treatment modality for our patients.


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