Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for the Temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. TMJ disorders are problems related to the jaw joint. Typically patients with TMJ disorder will have pain or soreness in the area, often hear a “clicking” sound when they chew, and some may even develop headaches.

What causes Temporomandibular Joint dysfunction?

TMD can be caused by grinding and clenching teeth, arthritis and injury. Sometimes, though, there is no apparent reason for it at all.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

  • Pain and soreness in the jaw
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth due to locking of the jaw
  • Pain in the ear
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty chewing with or without pain
  • Pain elsewhere in the face

TMJ Treatments

There are very effective treatments available for relief of TMJ disorders. Some start at home, and others can be provided by our office:

  • Oral splints and mouth guards can limit the pressure on the jaws and therefore alleviate pain.
  • Deliberately resting the jaw is an important tool for those who tend to clench their jaw, with or without noticing it.
  • Moist heat can be very soothing to the jaw and can reduce muscle spasms.
  • Ice reduces inflammation.
  • In very rare, extreme cases, referral to a specialist may be advised.

If you are suffering from a TMJ disorder, we want you to know that there is help for your condition. Please call Dr. Leon-Guerrero at Modesto Office Phone Number 209-544-3413 for more information.