More than 10 million Americans suffer from the temporomandibular joint disorder, also called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or simply TMJ disorder. These acronyms are used to describe the spectrum of issues that can cause jaw issues and pain. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, there are three main categories of TMJ.

First Type: Characterized by pain in the face, head, and neck muscles that control the jaw.

Second Type: Involves issues with joint function including a dislocated jaw, a displaced disc or injury to the condyle.

Third Type: Characterized by arthritis, meaning there is a degenerative or inflammatory joint disease affecting the jaw.

Discover the symptoms, causes, and treatment of a temporomandibular joint disorder. Call iSmile of Coral Gables at 305-620-8272 or iSmile of Doral, FL at 305-396-1026 for a free consultation.

What is TMJ Pain?

TMJ Symptoms

  • Clicking or grating sensation when opening and closing the mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Hearing issues or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Locked jaw
  • Pain in or around the ear
  • Pain in neck or shoulders
  • Pain or tenderness in jaw joint
  • Pain while chewing or an uncomfortable bite
  • Swelling on the side of the face
  • Tired feeling or pain in the face
  • Toothaches

TMJ Causes

The temporomandibular joint combines a hinge action with sliding motions. Parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.

  • The shock-absorbing disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment
  • The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
  • Joint is damaged by a blow or other impact

TMJ Risk factors

  • Various types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Jaw injury
  • Long-term (chronic) grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Certain connective tissue diseases that may affect the temporomandibular joint

TMJ Treatment

  • There is no specific test to diagnose TMJ.
  • A doctor will diagnose TMJ by collecting a patient’s medical history and conducting a physical exam to discover the cause of symptoms.
  • A doctor may send a patient to an oral and maxillofacial specialist, an otolaryngologist (also called an ear, nose, and throat doctor or ENT specialist).
  • A health care professional may order an MRI of the temporomandibular joint to detect damage to the cartilage of the jaw joint and to rule out other medical issues.
  • A condition that may have some similar symptoms to TMJ is trigeminal neuralgia.
    • The trigeminal nerve supplies nerve impulses to the temporomandibular joint, and when irritated, it can cause facial pain.
    • Other causes of face or neck pain include swollen lymph nodes (swollen glands), giant cell arteritis, salivary gland disease, sore throat, ill-fitting dentures, or dental braces.

Contact Coral Gables and Doral, FL's Leading TMJ Specialist

Experiencing extreme pain? It’s time to explore a TMJ treatment. Seek help from the best Doral General Dentistry and Gables General Dentistry.

Dr. Sonia Olivares focuses on various extensive teeth and dental issues in Coral Gables and Doral, Florida. She specializes in smile makeovers, focused on achieving highly aesthetic and natural-looking smiles. We offer flexible payment options.

To discover more, schedule an online consultation with Dr. Sonia Olivares or call us today!