The Ultimate Guide to TMJ Disorder


Facial and jaw pain is bothersome. This kind of pain is normally associated with the temporomandibular joint—a hinge-like joint between your top and bottom jaw bones.

This delicate joint is comprised of muscle fibers, connective tissue, discs, and bones that allow your jaw to move as needed. So if you feel pain and have difficulty moving your jaw, chances are that you’ve got Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder.

Knowing what signs to look for can help you understand what TMJ is and what remedy you’ll require.

Keep reading to learn more!

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

The TMJ is situated right next to your ears and the joints that attach your lower jawbone to your skull and aid in movement patterns such as biting and talking.

TMJ Disorder

Here are the usual symptoms of TMJ disorder:

  • Face and jaw pain when moving
  • Jaw locking or clicking
  • Pain upon opening or closing of the jaw
  • Headaches
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

Stress and teeth grinding or clenching are two things that can cause TMD/TMJ and migraines, among other things. By continuously applying pressure to migraine-triggering regions like the frontal, temporal, occipital, and nasal zones, constant clench and grind motions can cause chronic migraines.

Tension is brought on by the masseter and temporalis contracting uncontrollably in response to stress, while chronic migraines are caused by the involuntary muscle spasms. Chronic strain on the TMJ can also cause pain and inflammation to spread to nearby nerves.

How Is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?

Taking your symptoms into consideration as well as how long they have been present, your dentist can determine if you have TMJ Disorder or not.

During a TMJ examination, the dentist will:

  • Take a thorough medical history of the patient.
  • List every TMJ Disorder symptom.
    Check the current condition of the jaw’s muscles and joints.
  • Examine your teeth and bite.
  • An MRI can also be conducted to determine if the disc in your joint is moving properly..


TMJ disorder may resolve on its own in certain situations. However, if your symptoms worsen, your dentist may suggest several possible treatments to address it.

1. Medications. Certain medications can help ease the symptoms, especially pain attributed to TMJ disorders like:

  • Anti-inflammatories and painkillers.
  • Tricyclic mood stabilizers.
  • Botulinum toxin injections to relax overactive muscles and lessen the TMJ symptoms

2. Therapy. These include:

  • Mouthguards or orthotics.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Chiropractic treatment.

3. Natural remedies and lifestyle changes. The following may help reduce symptoms of TMJ disorders:

Avoid overworking your jaw muscles by consuming softer food and/or slicing your food into small pieces. Also, avoid sticky food such as chewing gum.
Constantly massage and stretch your jaw. Your dentist can illustrate how to properly stretch and massage your lower jaw to provide relief.
Apply a hot or cold compress to your jaw to help ease the pain.

Get effective, lasting relief from TMJ disorder.

With our expertise and experience in both dentistry and aesthetics, we here at Dogwood Dental Spa in Waxhaw NC have helped countless patients relieve their TMJ symptoms.