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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Dentistry Temperomandibular joint disorders

Temperomandibular joint disorders

TMJ disorders cause tenderness and pain in the temperomandibular joint. This joint is responsible for talking, yawning and chewing.

Symptoms of TMJ disorders:

  • Pain or tenderness of jaw.
  • Aching pain in and around the ear.
  • Difficulty chewing or discomfort while chewing.
  • Aching facial pain.
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth.
  • Headache.
  • Uncomfortable bite.
  • An uneven bite due to one or more teeth making premature contact.


TMJ disorders can occur if:

  • The 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.
  • The muscles that stabilize the joint become fatigued from overwork, which can happen if habitually clench or grind the teeth.

Risk factors:

It most commonly occurs in women between the ages of 30 and 50. Other factors associated with TNJ disorder include:

Tests and diagnosis:

  • X-rays.
  • CT scan of TM Joint.
  • MRI.


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline or nortriptyline.
  • Muscle relaxants.
  • Corticosteroid drugs.
  • Botulism toxin.

Therapies like:  Bite guard and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Surgeries like:

  • Corrective dental treatment: the bite can be improved by balancing the biting surfaces of teeth, replacing missing teeth or replacing needed fillings or crowns.
  • Arthrocentesis: In this procedure the needle is inserted to the joint so that fluid can be irrigated through the joint to remove debris and inflammatory byproducts.
  • Surgery: Surgery to remove the disk between the mandible and temporal bone.


  • Maintain good jaw posture: This makes the jaw muscles relaxed with teeth slightly apart and the tongue lightly touching the roof of the mouth.
  • Avoid overuse of jaw muscles: Eating soft foods, cutting food into small pieces, avoiding sticky or chewy food.
  • Stretching and massage.
  • Heat or cold: Applying warm, moist heat or ice to the side of the face may help to relax the muscles.