Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

How are TMJ disorders caused?

Illustration Of Tmj Web W300

The exact cause of the disorder is unknown. Some factors are related to an improper bite, injury, arthritis, severe stress, or a combination of factors. Clenching or grinding teeth, a condition called bruxism, may develop from stress or as part of a sleep disorder.

This can tire muscles and create painful spasms, causing even more pain. Repeated muscle problems may affect the joints, resulting in tissue damage, muscle tenderness, and more spasm, perpetuating a cycle of pain.

For more information about how we can help you with TMJ problems, call us at (814) 838-6354, we will be happy to help you.


What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

  • Jaw pain or soreness, more noticeable in the morning or afternoon
  • Jaw pain while chewing, biting, or yawning
  • Earache without an infection, sometimes spreading into the face
  • Soreness in front of the ear
  • A clicking or grinding noise while opening and closing your mouth
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • A stiff jaw when eating, talking, or yawning
  • Sensitive teeth without any signs of dental problems
  • Aching on the side of the head and neck pain
  • A burning sensation in the mouth/tongue
  • Grinding of your teeth
  • Restricted range of jaw movement or "locking" of the jaw in an open or closed position

A thorough dental examination is the first step toward finding a solution. Depending on the diagnosis, treatments may include reshaping teeth, bite guards, and muscle relaxants.

What TMJ disorder treatments are available?

Proper diagnosis is critical to make sure you receive treatment for your particular condition. At Kneib Dentistry we will only recommend treatment after conducting a thorough health history, clinical exam, taking appropriate X-rays, and perhaps confirming the condition through other diagnostic tests.

At Kneib Dentistry we may prescribe a multiple-phase treatment plan. Only minor corrective treatment may be needed. Treatment may be simple or require more steps for alleviating the condition, depending on the degree of severity. Some of these treatments include:

In most cases we treat at Kneib Dentistry, the symptoms related to TMJ disorders can be successfully treated to reduce or eliminate your discomfort. Postponement of treatment usually results in more damage to the joint, muscles, or teeth.