TMJ Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses, and Treatment

TMJ Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses, and Treatment

Apr 01, 2020

The temporomandibular usually joint connects your jaw to the temporal bones of the skull in front of your ears. This joint allows your jaw to move side to side and up and down. It is what makes it possible to chew because you cannot chew if your jaw is not moving.

Problems affecting your jaw and face are called temporomandibular disorders (TMD). These disorders are also called TMJ, which has become a more common term than TMD.

This article will help you get more about this condition and how you can get treatment if you are affected. You can count on Wilmington Dental Studio if you are looking for TMJ treatment in Wilmington.

Causes of TMJ

The exact cause of this condition is not yet known. However, most dental experts believe that symptoms of the condition arise if one has problems with the jaw or parts of the temporomandibular joint. So, an injury to the jawbone or muscles of your neck and head can lead to TMJ. Other causes include:

  • Arthritis in your joint
  • Stress causes your face and jaw muscles to tighten.
  • Grinding teeth
  • Movement of the disc between your socket and ball of the joint.

Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ usually causes a lot of discomfort and pain. This pain can be temporary or can last for a long time. Be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Tenderness and pain in your jaw
  • Pain in and around your ears
  • Pain in your temporomandibular joint. Either one or both.
  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Locking of the temporomandibular joint, which makes it hard for you to open and close your mouth.
  • Clicking sound when you chew or open your mouth. However, if there is no pain coming along with the sound, seeing a doctor might be unnecessary.
  • It was swelling on one or both sides of your face.


The doctor will discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing and then start examining your jaw. He will probably:

  • Observe the range of motion that your jaw produces
  • Press some areas of your jaw to identify the sites in pain
  • Conduct X-ray checks if he/ she suspects something
  • Conduct a CT scan to provide you with images of the bone and joint
  • MRI to identify problems with the discs of the joint or surrounding soft tissues.

Sometimes the doctor conducts the TMJ arthroscopy. The doctor inserts a cannula (small thin tube) into your joint space together with a camera (arthroscope) to view the area, which helps with the diagnosis. You can count on us if you are looking for TMJ treatment near you or a dentist in Wilmington, MA.


The symptoms of TMJ can sometimes go away without any need for treatment. However, if the symptoms persist, make sure to see the doctor. The doctor may recommend any of the following solutions.


The doctor can prescribe various medications to help relieve pain. Some of the medicines include pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and tricyclic antidepressants.


These therapies don’t involve the use of any drug. They include physical therapy, mouthguards, and counseling to help you know the things that can increase the pain so you can avoid them.

Surgical & Other Procedures

Sometimes, TMJ can be on an advanced level, and only surgery can help cure it. There also other procedures the dentist can suggest. They include modified TMJ arthroscopy, open-joint surgery, injections, and arthrocentesis.

If the doctor recommends these other treatments or surgery, be sure to discuss the pros and cons of each as well if it is the only option.

Home Remedies

There are things you can do from home to help prevent the severity of symptoms of TMJ. These tips can help you out:

  • Don’t overuse your jaw. Eat soft foods, cut them into small pieces, avoid sticky foods, and avoid chewing gums.
  • Massage and stretching: Your doctor will teach you how to exercise your jaw the right way.
  • Apply moist heat or ice on the side of your face. We can help alleviate pain.

If all the options don’t work, you can always try an alternative medication. These alternatives include acupuncture, biofeedback, and relaxation technique. Make sure to visit an expert should you go for any.

Wilmington Dental Studio

If you require a dentist 01887, you can count on us. We accept most of the insurances and our services come at friendly prices. We have experience of 20+ years in the industry, and you can count on our family-friendly services. Dr. Sevak Abrahamian is the dentist near you. Book an appointment today!

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