TMJ Dysfunction

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Tooth Pain. Woman Feeling Strong Pain, Toothache from TMJ dysfunction

Painful TMJ Dysfunction in Tucson, AZ

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD or TMD), or TMJ disorder, is an umbrella term covering acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the mandible to the temporal bone of the skull. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain and impairment. TMJ disorder transcends several healthcare disciplines such as, dentistry, neurology and chiropractics. There are a variety of treatment approaches dependent upon the type stimulating factors.

Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder vary in their presentation and, although they can be very complex, they are usually simple. On average, the symptoms will involve more than one of the numerous TMJ components: joints and muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and the teeth. Ear pain associated with the swelling of proximal tissue can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder.

3D illustration of Mandible - bright red jaw

Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders may include::

  • Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Dull, aching pain in the face
  • Earache (particularly in the morning)
  • Headache (particularly in the morning)
  • Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
  • Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness Contents

TMJ actually has two joints, which allows it to rotate and to translate (slide). Over time, it is common to see wear of both the bone and cartilage components of the joint in an x-ray evaluated by a healthcare practitioner. Clicking is a common symptom of TMD, as are popping and deviations in the movements of the joint. Pain is the most conventional signifier of TMD.

The dysfunction involved is most often due to the premature and late movements of the disc between the condyle of the mandible. The sounds produced by this dysfunction are usually described as a “click” or a “pop” and as “crepitation” or “crepitus” when there are multiple, rough sounds.

Clenching and grinding of the teeth, most often occurring subconsciously, are common contributing factors causing TMD. Whip lash, trauma to the head, neck and back can also be contributing factors causing TMD.

If you believe you are suffering from TMD, take the first step towards relief and call (520) 745-5051 today to schedule a FREE consultation with a top Tucson orthodontist and learn about your treatment options.


801 N. Wilmot Road Suite F-2
Tucson, AZ 85711

+1 (520) 745-5051

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