TM Joint Dysfunction

TM Joint Dysfunction can cause multiple symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the joint
  • Pain in or around the ear leading patients to believe they have an ear infection
  • Clicking or popping noise in the joint when eating or opening and closing the mouth
  • Limited opening of mouth
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Jaw dislocations on opening preventing the patient from closing
  • Frequent headaches

Causes of TM Joint Pain and Dysfunction:

  • Arthritis
  • Trauma – injury to the joint or muscles
  • Bite malfunction – teeth do not fit together in a comfortable relaxed muscle position
  • Stress
  • Bruxism and clenching of teeth at night or during the day
  • Missing teeth

Treatment of TM Joint Dysfunction:

  • Do not do any unnecessary chewing – such as gum and candy.
  • Eat soft foods.
  • Reduce pain with Tylenol, Aspirin, or Ibuprofen 1 hour prior to bedtime and use ice packs on the joint for that 1 hour prior to bed.
  • A night guard/bite splint can be made to reduce clenching and grinding while sleeping.
  • Muscle relaxant medications may be helpful prior to bedtime.
  • Some cases may require physical therapy.
  • Some cases may benefit from a bite adjustment or orthodontics.