The temporomandibular joint, called TMJ, acts like a sliding hinge connecting the lower jaw to the skull
base. Located on either side of the head, the TMJ work together when you swallow, chew, and talk.
Each TMJ has a soft cartilage disc that acts as a cushion between the bones of the joint and skull base.
Any problems that prevent this complex system of ligaments, muscles, discs, and bones from working
properly may result in painful TMJ disorder.
Possible causes of TMJ pain:
• Disc displacement or disc erosion
• Sleep Bruxism (grinding)
• Misaligned teeth
• Cartilage damage by arthritis
• Ear pain
• Noises in the ear
• Limited mouth opening
Risk factors of TMJ:
• Arthritis of various types
• Jaw injury
• Rheumatologic concerns
• Long term grinciing/clenching of teeth
• Certain connective tissue diseases
• Chronic ear pain
• Sleep apnea
Diagnosis is a step before treatment.
If you have a disc joint misalignment, it is a true structural issue and needs to be addressed.
Complementary and alternative medicine techniques (acupuncture, chiropractic, relaxation, and
biofeedback) may help in the short term, but long term therapy would include occlusal appliances with
possible physical therapy.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.