TMJ Disorders (TMD)

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, also known as TMD, includes a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you suffer symptoms like jaw pain, or annoying “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated today than they were just a few years ago.

TMD symptoms occur when the joints of your jaw and your chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No single treatment resolves TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to be truly effective. Dr. Funderburk can determine if TMJ treatment is right for you and will tell you exactly what to expect, based on your individual dental needs.

Trouble With Your Jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. Perhaps you clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. Or, maybe disease has damaged your jaw joint. Also, injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly, or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or a grating noise when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does your pain worsen when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching worse, and subsequently make your pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, to eat, or to yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

Answer the above questions to help you determine if you are experiencing a TMJ disorder. The more questions you answer with a “yes,” the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Dr. Funderburk can explain TMJ disorders and determine the cause of yours. Understanding this will help chart the most effective treatment course for your TMJ.