Temporomandibular Dysfunction, sometimes referred to as “TMJ” or “TMD,” is a disorder related to the jaw joints and facial muscles. It can present with many different symptoms including headaches, earaches, and sore or tired jaw or neck muscles. In addition, some people experience popping, grating or clicking noises in one or both of their jaw joints. These symptoms can be worse during times of stress or in those people who grind or clench their teeth during sleep. Treatment is most successful when the problem is detected and treated early.
In many cases, the conservative first step involves the use of a hard plastic bite appliance or splint. This appliance is custom made for the individual and is designed to allow the jaw muscles to relax. At the same time, it helps us determine and treat the source of the problem. If an improper bite relationship is contributing to the problem, steps can be taken to improve the bite, which may virtually eliminate the symptoms. In the majority of cases, appliance therapy and stress management allows us to keep the symptoms of TMD in check. For more advanced cases, physical therapy or surgery may be indicated. We have formed a network of highly skilled specialists to provide the best clinical care for our patients with advanced needs.