TMJ Disorders and Facial Pain

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons Dr. DelgadoDr. Kuzmik are also trained to diagnose and treat facial pain. A common cause of this pain stems from the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Located where the lower jaw and skull meet, the joint enables the lower jaw to move and function. TMJ disorders are a family of problems related to this complex jaw joint. Symptoms of TMJ disorders can be earaches, headaches, pain, clicking or popping of the jaw or a limited range of movement when opening your mouth.

Causes of TMJ can be degenerative, traumatic, inflammatory or stress related. You may clench or grind your teeth, which tightens the jaw muscles and stresses the TM joint.

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

The more times you answered “yes,” the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they’re treated.

Examination & Treatment

A thorough clinical exam including diagnostic studies such as MRI’s, CT scans or radiographs will help Dr. Delgado & Dr. Kuzmik determine the correct course of treatment for your condition. Initial treatment is usually non-surgical and may involve a soft food diet, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy or the use of a mouth guard. For certain conditions, joint surgery may be nece