Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joints are responsible for the movement of the jaws. They are present on either side of the head and connect the lower jaw to the skull. They play a major role during the movement of the jaw while smiling, talking, yawning, biting, chewing, etc.

Sometimes, the TMJ could undergo inflammation due to a lot of stresses applied on it. This results in a condition called TMD or Temporomandibular joint disorder. Patients with TMD often find it difficult to bite and chew food, experience persistent headaches, lockjaw, etc.

What are the causes of TMD?

  • Clenching of jaws, which is mostly subconscious. This puts a lot of stress on the TMJ and keeps them under tension.
  • Bruxism, or night-time teeth grinding, can result in excessive wear of the teeth surfaces and inflammation of the TMJ.
  • Sleeping in an uncomfortable position where the TMJ is put under stresses can lead to TMD.
  • External injury to the head, especially near the TMJ, can cause inflammation of the tissues of the joints.

Signs and symptoms of TMD

  • Pain in the jaws while biting and chewing food
  • Persistent headache, especially just after waking up
  • Pain and ringing sound in the ears
  • Popping sound in the TMJ when you move the jaw
  • Lockjaw
  • Limited movement of the jaws. If you try to open your mouth wider, it would be painful.

How is TMD treated?

The severity of TMD can be reduced by making a few changes to one’s everyday activities. Some of them are as follows:

  • Clenching the jaw should be avoided.
  • Avoid chewing gum.
  • Frequent snacking could put persistent stresses on the TMJ, which should be avoided.
  • Massage the TMJ in order to relax the muscles.
  • Check for signs of sleep apnea and bruxism. Consult a dentist and get a customized night-time bruxism guard to prevent the grinding of teeth.
  • Holding the phone between the ear and the shoulder should be avoided.
  • Try to sleep in a relaxed position rather than an uncomfortable one which could put a lot of stress on the TMJ.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes.

Call us at (818) 789-2034 or schedule an online appointment to have a consultation with Dr. Daniel Tebbi at our practice in Encino, CA.


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16661 Ventura Blvd Ste 620
Encino, CA, 91436

Daniel Tebbi, D.M.D.

16661 Ventura Blvd Ste 620

Tel: (818) 789-2034

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