TMJ Fact Sheet 

 

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are pretty common. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 10 million Americans suffer from these disorders. Fortunately, TMJ disorders are treatable. At Head Pain Institute, we have highly-qualified doctors who specialize in head and face pain, including TMJ. They are committed to using their knowledge and experience to identify the main cause of these disorders and find the best treatment options for our patients.

Major Causes of TMJ Disorders

There are several issues that cause TMJ disorders. They may include:

  • Erosion of the joint
  • Habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Structural jaw problems
  • Arthritis

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

The symptoms of TMJ disorders depend on the causes and the severity of the condition. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with us if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness in jaw muscles
  • Feeling pain when opening or closing the mouth
  • Grating, popping, or clicking sounds in the joint
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Restrained movement in the jaw
  • Pain when eating, speaking, yawning, or opening your mouth
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Soreness in jaw muscles
  • A shift in the jaw commonly referred to as malocclusion

These symptoms can appear on one or both sides of the face.

Diagnosis of TMJ Disorders

If you have these symptoms, the specialists at Head pain Institute will discuss them with you and examine your jaw. He/or she will most likely:

  • Press areas around the jaw to determine the points of discomfort and pain
  • Listen to the sounds made by your jaw when you open or close your mouth
  • Examine the range of motion in the jaw

If our specialist suspects a problem, the following procedures might be necessary:

  • CT scan to capture images of the joint and bones in and around the jaw area
  • MRI to examine joint soft tissues

Treatment of TMJ Disorders

Sometimes, TMJ disorders disappear without any form of treatment. However, the experts at Head Pain Institute can administer various treatments if symptoms persist. Below are the major treatment methods we use:

  • Joint or muscle injections: Injections are effective in relieving pain for patients with TMJ disorders.  Injections may be made directly into the temporomandibular joint to increase mobility or into muscles surrounding the joint to quiet muscle spasms or block pain.
  • Splints: Oral appliances help reposition the jaw without discomfort. They also strengthen facial muscles and ensure jaws remain in the right position in the long term.
  • Physical therapy:  Hot/Cold therapy and other modality therapies can help stretch and strengthen the jaw joints, ligaments and muscles and may be performed in addition to other  treatments.

If you are concerned about a TMJ disorder and want to get diagnosed and treated by professionals, contact us today. You can email us at info@headpaininstitute.com or call 480-351-6513.