TMJ Treatment in San Antonio, TX
What Is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?
What Causes TMD?
The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or the parts of the joint itself. Some issues may come from overuse, like excessive gum chewing, infection, or inflammation.
Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck—such as from a heavy blow or whiplash—may also cause TMD. Other possible causes include:
Grinding or clenching the teeth
Dislocation of the disc between the ball and socket
Arthritis in the TMJ
Stress, causing tightening of facial and jaw muscles or clenching the teeth
What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
Symptoms of TMD include severe pain and discomfort in the jaw and face, locking or clicking of the jaw when in motion, tenderness of the jaw muscles, muscle spasms, inflammation of the facial muscles, and difficulty chewing.
People may also experience toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
How Does Dental Care Help?
Many other conditions may cause similar symptoms to TMD, including toothaches, sinus problems, arthritis, or gum disease. Our dentist will conduct a careful patient history and physical examination to determine the cause of their symptoms.
In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders responds well to self-managed care or non-surgical treatments, such as orthodontic care and bite splints. Severe TMJ disorders may require surgical repair.