Glendale patients ask, ‘What are the causes of TMJ?’

The term TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge connecting the jaw to temporal bones located in front of the ears. This joint allows movement of the jaws, necessary for talking, chewing, and opening the mouth. When this function is compromised, the condition is called temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. Temporomandibular disorders can cause extreme pain and limit a patient’s ability to function. Physicians and scientists have not identified the specific cause of TMD, however, many factors that influence the condition include:

  • Accidents or injuries that affect the temporomandibular joint, jaw, neck, or head
  • Dislocation of a disc between the socket and ball of the joint
  • Arthritis
  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Stress disorders, which cause tightening of the jaw or facial muscles
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Nutrition
  • Neurological disorders

Symptoms of TMD may present as:

  • Popping or clicking sounds upon movement of the joint
  • Locked jaw
  • Inability to open the mouth widely
  • Discomfort when chewing or misalignment in the bite
  • Swelling
  • Pain or sensitivity around the ears or in the neck, shoulders, jaw joint, or face
  • Headache, neck strain, toothache, tinnitus, earache, loss of hearing, or dizziness

Dr. Sameet Koppikar at Biltmore Dental Center, serving patients from Phoenix, Glendale, and surrounding areas, is a board-certified physician with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Koppikar and our dental team provide a vast array of advanced dental care such as emergency, cosmetic, sedation, and family dentistry, including the diagnosis and treatment of TMD. To determine the most appropriate treatment for patients suffering from TMD, Dr. Koppikar will perform an extensive evaluation and assessment and recommend the best course of action for each patient’s unique situation. Treatment options may involve:

  • Prescription medications for pain, swelling, or muscle relaxation
  • Dental appliances that prevent clenching or grinding the teeth
  • Dental restorations such as implants, crowns, or bridges can replace missing teeth which may cause bite issues
  • Braces or Invisalign can properly align teeth and bite

At Biltmore Dental Center, we are committed to helping our patients to achieve optimal oral and physical health, and gain their healthiest and happiest smiles. To schedule an appointment or consultation, submit your request online or call us at (602) 954-8200.

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