Dental Tips Blog


What Is TMJ?

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Have you ever heard someone complain that they have “TMJ?” Could you possibly have it? Here’s what you should know about the condition commonly referred to as TMJ.

What Is Your TMJ?

“TMJ” is an abbreviation that refers to the temporomandibular joint. This joint is found where your jaw attaches to your skull. There are two of these joints and you can feel them by opening and closing your jaw while pressing your fingers against either side of your head just in front of your ears.

Your TMJ is simply a normal part of your anatomy. So, what does it mean when people talking about “having” TMJ like it’s a painful condition?

Understanding TMD/TMJD

The TMJ is filled with ligaments and soft tissues that can become strained with use over time. The resulting swelling causes pain and limited jaw movement. This condition is called temporomandibular joint disorder or “TMD” (and even “TMJD”) for short. Sometimes it’s called “TMJ disorder.

When you hear someone talk about “having TMJ,” they’re not just announcing that they have a joint that you don’t. They mean that they’re suffering from pain and inflammation in their TMJ. A dentist, however, will call it “TMD.”

Do You Have TMD?

Almost everyone suffers from jaw pain at some point in their lives. Your TMJ works hard all day every day, so you may feel some discomfort after a big yawn or after several hours of chewing gum.

TMD is usually connected to other serious issues such as arthritis, a teeth-clenching habit, or even a poorly-aligned bite.

If you suffer from jaw pain on a regular basis or have limited jaw opening, then you should contact your dentist for a TMJ assessment.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097


Do I Have TMJ Disorder?

Posted in TMJ Therpy

The joint in your jaw that allows your mouth to open and close is called your TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint).  This joint functions when you chew, yawn and talk.  Sometimes, people can develop a disorder with their TMJ.  This TMJ disorder is called TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) or TMJD.  How do you know if you have this condition?              Some common symptoms of TMD are:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Painful muscles around the TMJ
  • Upper back and neck pain
  • Difficulty opening the mouth wide
  • Swelling on one or both sides of the face
  • Pain with chewing
  • Popping or clicking sounds while chewing
  • Jaws that get stuck or locked in one position

These symptoms can be temporary or they can be chronic and last for many years.

What causes TMJ Disorders?  Potential causes of TMD include:

  • Grinding and/or clinching their teeth (called bruxism) due to stress
  • Arthritis in the TMJ, which can damage the cartilage in the joint
  • Chewing Gum on a frequently, creating over-use of the surrounding muscles
  • Injury to the jaw or head and neck muscles, which can damage the joint

If you think you have a disorder of your TMJ, first try some self-help ideas at home.  For example, applying moist heat or ice to the sore joint, eating foods that are soft and avoiding gum chewing or yawning really big.

If this home treatment doesn’t help, visit your dentist.  If you are diagnosed with a TMJ disorder (TMD), your dentist provide you with alternative methods to manage your discomfort, or can refer you to a TMD specialist in your area who can assess your condition and offer you further appropriate treatments.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050 


How Tooth Alignment Can Impact Your TMJ

Posted in TMJ Therpy

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems are nothing to laugh at. They can involve severe headaches, muscle tension, or uncomfortable clicking, chewing, or yawning. TMJ disorder is also very hard to treat because it is so difficult to diagnose. But sometimes, the cause may be more obvious than you think. Especially is this so when the root cause is connected to your teeth.

First, Visit Your Dentist

Are you experiencing some discomfort in your jaw? Visiting your dentist is usually the best place to start. He or she will have the best opinion as far as to what factors could be influencing the condition, and recommendations as to what steps need to be taken next.

One of the factors causing the TMJ problem could be your teeth. Consider the way your jaw works. Your jaw is a hinge and both arches of teeth need to fit evenly together at the same time for the hinge to experience even pressure. If your teeth are not properly in alignment, this could be causing one side of your mouth to close sooner than the other side. As a result, you may be chewing more on one side and straining the joint and muscles of just the one side of your jaw. Next thing you know, you’ve got TMJ discomfort.

 How to Relieve TMJ Discomfort

You could alleviate the pain with aspirin and heat packs, but you should eventually address the cause before your jaw suffers any more damage.

Your dentist will be able to show you how the alignment of certain teeth could be contributing to your TMJ problem. He or she would then discuss with you restorative and orthodontic options for evening out your bite and taking a load off your TMJ. Get started today by calling your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Alan Horlick DDS
6572 Hwy 92 #120
Acworth, GA 30102
(770) 591-8446


How Dermal Fillers Can Help with TMJ Disorder

Posted in TMJ Therpy

For some time now, dermal fillers have been known for their cosmetic properties of filling in recessed scars, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and plumping lips. But do dermal fillers have any application in treating pain and dysfunction of the TMJ (temporomandibular joint)?

What Are Dermal Fillers Made Of?

Most dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid. This acid is actually a protein that occurs naturally in the protective fluid surrounding joints. The substance helps to plump up areas of the face and neck for cosmetic enhancement, but like botulinum toxin, it can also be used to treat pain and dysfunction in the jaw.

How Can Hyaluronic Acid Help?

Hyaluronic acid is used to treat body joints that suffer from osteoarthritis. The protein is injected into the region around a joint, providing added lubrication and cushion. Recent studies indicate that for a jaw impaired by stress or osteoarthritis, the injection of a dermal filler containing hyaluronic acid could provide significant relief.

What is Treatment with Dermal Fillers Like?

Treatment is provided by a qualified practitioner in a simple office procedure. Some digital imaging may be done beforehand to provide an accurate image of the jaw for successful administration of the filler. Local anesthetic is placed before the injections are given to make the procedure more comfortable. Depending upon the exact product used and your individual needs as determined by your provider, treatment may include three to five injections each week for a number of weeks.

Are the Fillers Safe?

To date there have been no serious side-effects reported with use of hyaluronic acid as a treatment option for TMJ disorder. If you suffer from TMJ pain or dysfunction, ask your dentist about how dermal fillers can help you.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979


3 Signs of TMJ Disorder

Posted in TMJ Therpy

TMJ is an abbreviation for “temporomandibular joint.” A disorder of the TMJ is any condition in which the muscles and/or the joint itself is impaired by pain or dysfunction. TMJ disorder is common and difficult to specifically diagnose. These disorders are often treated with palliative measures to relieve tension and pain.

Do you worry that you may suffer from complications with your TMJ? What are the signs of a TMJ disorder?

1.-Locking or limited movement of the jaw

A click or a pop on opening the jaw is normal for some people. Many times, unusual motion or noise is inexplicably characteristic to a certain patient’s individual anatomy. If you notice a change, however, in the way your jaw feels or functions, that could be a sign that your TMJ is symptomatic.

2.-Pain in the jaw or the surrounding muscles while chewing

This is the most common sign of TMJ disorder. Your jaw needs to move naturally, often, and comfortably to enable you to do normal activities such as speaking, eating, and yawning. Any pain while opening your jaw is not normal and should be addressed.

3.-Pain that extends from the jaw into the head, neck, mouth and ear

Some patients with persistent headaches, neck pain, or an inexplicable earache have found the source to be radiating out from a dysfunctional TMJ.

TMJ disorders can be caused by many factors. If your TMJ is bothering you, a careful examination of your medical and dental history may yield some clues. For some patients, arthritis can affect their TMJ. Other cases are attributed to stress on the muscles through excessive grinding and clenching.

Talk with your dentist for help along the journey to finding relief for TMJ discomfort.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384


3 Causes of TMJ Disorder

Posted in TMJ Therpy

TMJ is an abbreviation for “temporomandibular joint,” and it is a ball-and-socket style joint that serves a vital function in eating, breathing, and talking. Yes, we’re talking about the joint that moves your jaw. On occasion, this joint can suffer from any of a variety of disorders. This results in limited movement, soreness, and even aching that radiates out to other areas of the head. What are some primary causes of TMJ disorder?

Habitual Grinding or Clenching

The habit of grinding and/or clenching the teeth can be something that only happens at night while you’re asleep, or it could be an unconscious habit triggered by stress. This habit keeps the chewing muscles tensed more often than they’re used to, and results in muscle-tension and wear on the jaw joint.


Arthritis is usually a genetic factor that will affect other joints in the body in addition to the TMJ. As with other joints in the body, the TMJ with arthritis typically suffers by losing the pad of cartilage that cushions the space between the ball and socket of the joint.


It is fairly common to experience jaw pain and limited opening after your jaw goes through some kind of traumatic experience. Such as an auto accident or a sport-related injury such as a fall or blow to the face.

If you have any concerns with your jaw, then please notify your dentist. Because TMJ issues can be so difficult to isolate, diagnose, and treat, they are best handled by collaborating with a few medical professionals who have experience in this matter. Talking with your dentist as soon as possible will help you draft an individualized plan of action.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336


Do You Have TMJ Disorder?

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) is a condition that affects many adults. There’s a lot of confusion about the condition, and many people are unsure whether or not they have it (or they think they do, but it’s actually another problem!) TMJD has several classic symptoms that overlap with other types of orofacial conditions.

Popping or Locking of the Joint

Jaw popping or locking in place indicates that something is out of alignment. The jaw could potentially become locked open or shut for an extended period of time, requiring a professional’s help to reposition it. 

Deviation when Opening and Closing

If the jaw is functioning improperly, it could be due to damage within the joint. This would case the jaw to deviate to one side or the other when opening and closing. 

Severe Pain

Overuse of the jaw joint can cause pain, but if regular things like eating breakfast or talking become painful, then it’s time to have your dentist see what is wrong. Using warm compresses and pain relievers can alleviate temporary pain.

To determine whether or not you truly have a TMJ disorder, your dentist will need to conduct an exam. It could be that chronic clenching or grinding is causing the excessive strain of the joint. This will be determined by palpating your facial muscles, feeling the joint move and assessing the wear patterns on your teeth. A bite splint is usually effective at preventing stress-induced TMJ pain that is caused by clenching and grinding. Some dentists also offer services like Botox or muscle relaxers if the condition is truly restricted to the joint itself. Schedule an exam with your dentist for the pain relief that you deserve.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751


Is TMJ Pain Really Preventable?

Posted in TMJ Therpy

TMJ Disorders (TMJD) and pain around the TMJ can make everyday life seem uncomfortable. Whether it’s eating a meal, chatting with a friend, or even keeping your mouth open during a dental appointment – the discomfort can make you feel miserable. What options do you have to treat TMJ pain, and is it possible to prevent them from returning?

Many of the factors that cause TMJD are treatable or avoidable. Take crowded or crooked teeth as an example. When the teeth bite together improperly, the TMJ may have to compromise a small amount in order to get the bite completely closed. This places strain on the joint and tissues surrounding it. By correcting the alignment of the teeth with orthodontic therapy, TMJ pain can be avoided.

Clenching and grinding of the teeth causes additional stress to the joint, beyond what it was designed for. Unfortunately, clenching and bruxism is often something we do subconsciously or in our sleep, making it hard to avoid. A custom, form-fitting bite splint or mouthguard can be made to wear over the teeth. This protects the teeth from wearing down, while also relaxing the muscles around the TMJ. The muscles then have a chance to relax, eliminating fatigue of the joint. Splints can be made very easily, and most patients see results after one or two days.

Do you suffer from TMJD or related TMJ discomfort? Your dentist can assess the function of your TMJ and bite to help you find a way to treat and manage your condition. In most cases, non-invasive therapies are the most successful way to correct conditions like TMJ.

Posted on behalf of:
Mockingbird Dental Associates
99 Mockingbird Dr
Cartersville, GA 30120
(770) 386-3908


Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Posted in TMJ Therpy

TMJD or TMJ Disorder is a condition that makes it uncomfortable to do things like enjoy your favorite foods or even sit through a dental appointment. A lot of people come into the dental office saying they “have TMJ,” but do you really, truly have TMJD?

Locking of the Joint

That’s right, your jaw could possibly lock in a position where you cannot move it. It may be stuck open and require professional treatment to put it back into place. 

Popping, Grinding or Other Noises

If the joint is not functioning properly, the disk between the two bones may contribute to noises made during opening and closing of the jaw. These may be heard or felt. Your dentist will check for these findings during a TMJ screening at your routine dental evaluation. 

Inability to Open or Close the Jaw Comfortably

Whether from pain, discomfort, or physical barriers, people with TMJD may be unable to open and close their mouth, or even chew food. If brushing your teeth or eating is becoming a problem, then have your dentist check your joint range of motion. 

Severe Muscle Fatigue and Facial Pain

Abnormal function or stress to the joint can create severe pain in the area of the TMJ, ears, face, neck, and even the shoulders. Headaches are normal. A bite splint can help reduce muscle strain associated with this condition.

Disorders of the jaw can make everyday life miserable. If you’ve tried home remedies or an over the counter splint, it’s time to take it a step further. Ask your dentist about non-invasive TMJD therapy that can help you live comfortably and enjoy your activities once again.

Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
(770) 898-8872


Relieving TMJ Discomfort

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Does your jaw pop, crack, stick in place, or battle soreness throughout the day? TMJ disorders can range from mild grinding of the joint to severe discomfort. In most cases, it is best to battle the discomfort or joint disorder with non-surgical, therapeutic methods to relieve pain and increase mobility. Here are a few ideas to help you manage the symptoms of TMJ disorder, including TMJ treatment options at your dentist.

•       Apply a moist, hot compress.

A warm, moist compress against the joint can help relieve swelling and joint discomfort. Some people also find it useful to alternate a warm compress with a cold one every few minutes. 

•       Avoid chewing hard food or overusing the joint

Chewing foods that are difficult due to their firmer texture will place unnecessary strain on the joint. Avoid chewing gum throughout the day as this can place further strain on the TMJ. Stick to softer foods, or foods that can be cut up smaller to make chewing easier. 

•       Take an anti-inflammatory medication

Taking an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen can reduce swelling of the muscles and tissues in and around the TMJ area. Always take medication as directed and under the supervision of your dentist or doctor. In more severe cases, your dentist or doctor may recommend a prescription muscle relaxer for pain management. 

•       Wear a professionally made splint device

Preventing the jaw from experiencing excess strain can be achieved by wearing a customized bite splint. These TMJ splints place the jaw in a resting position that eliminates the locking or clenching of the joint. Ask your dentist about making a bite splint for immediate pain relief during the day or night.

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers


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