The TMJ (temporomandibular joint or jaw joint) is composed of two hinge joints that join your lower jaw (mandible) with your “temporal” skull bone immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. It allows you to chew, talk and yawn.

TMJ Disorders (TMD) are problems with the jaw joint and the muscles attached to it. One or both temporomandibular joints may be affected. The stress on the jaw muscles can cause headaches, neck pain and other symptoms.

Typical symptoms of TMJ Disorder (TMD) are:

  • Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Neck pain
  • Earaches
  • Upper shoulder pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Facial pain or tenderness around the jaw joint area
  • Difficulty opening the mouth very wide
  • Jaws that get “locked”
  • Clicking, grating or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth

High-tech, accurate diagnosis

Proper diagnosis of the TMJ problem is vital to treatment. A thorough consultation is done and advanced diagnostic technology is used to carefully analyze your bite and narrow down the cause of your symptoms. It may be found that you have one of the following causes of TMJ pain:

  • Misaligned bite
  • Teeth clenching and grinding (Bruxism)
  • Dislocation of the joint from the socket
  • Arthritis in the joint
  • Trauma and injury
  • Stress

Once an accurate diagnosis has been made, Dr. Ramirez creates your treatment plan, which varies from patient to patient. Some treatments include:

  • Oral appliance therapy – a custom-created appliance, similar to a mouth guard, that keeps your jaw relaxed and in its optimum position.
  • Night guards – can be helpful for patients who grind or clench their teeth during sleep, helping to relieve some of the pressure on the teeth.
  • Invisalign teeth straightening – clear teeth straightening system to more permanently fix a misaligned bite by moving the teeth into an ideal position.
  • Dental work such as crowns, veneers and dental implants –  can help reposition your jaw and bite alignment, relieving stress from the jaw joints.
  • BOTOX® – relieves TMJ and jaw tension for many patients. It can also minimize lock jaw and eliminate headaches resulting from teeth grinding.