TMJ Specialist

R. Craig Miller, DMD -  - Comprehensive, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry

The Miller Center

R. Craig Miller, DMD

Comprehensive, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry located in Livingston, NJ

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a painful condition that creates numerous troubling symptoms. At The Miller Center in Livingston, New Jersey, R. Craig Miller, DMD, MAGD, FICOI, offers thorough diagnostic and treatment services for TMJ. He helps you find relief from discomfort and poor jaw function. Schedule an appointment today to get started. Online booking is fast and easy, or you’re welcome to schedule over the phone.

TMJ

What is temporomandibular joint disorder?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is also referred to as temporomandibular joint syndrome. It’s a condition in which the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull, or temporal bone, doesn’t function normally.

Your temporomandibular joint contains an arrangement of bones, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. The joint enables your jaw to move in a hinge or rotation motion, as well as a gliding motion. Those movements are what allow you to eat, speak, and yawn.

What causes TMJ disorder?

There are numerous factors that contribute to TMJ disorder. Traumatic injury is one example. Anything that creates an impact on the side of your face or head can alter the arrangement of your temporomandibular joint. Even less abrupt damage, like clenching or grinding your teeth, creates trauma.

In some cases, osteoarthritis is to blame for TMJ. Degenerative joint disease breaks down the cartilage that lubricates and protects the joint, and inflammation causes significant pain.

Other issues that lead to TMJ disorder include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Congenital bone defects
  • Certain cancers
  • Infection

If you notice changes in your jaw function, schedule a diagnostic exam right away. Treating TMJ is easier in the early stages before significant joint damage occurs.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

Pain in and around your jaw is the primary symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder. Additional symptoms include:

  • Pain in your scalp or face
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Hearing loss
  • Popping or clicking sounds when you chew or yawn
  • Swelling on one side of your face
  • Muscle spasms that make it hard to swallow
  • Dizziness, nausea, or vomiting

If you notice any of these symptoms, a thorough exam determines if TMJ is present.

What is the treatment for TMJ disorder?

Dr. Miller offers customized mouth appliances to help treat TMJ disorder. There are various options to choose from, some of which are worn only at night and some that you’ll wear for part of the day. Some work by preventing you from clenching or grinding your teeth. Others help redistribute the force of your bite, taking some of the strain off your jaw muscles.

Targeted exercises also help restore optimal joint mobility, strengthen the muscles that support your jaw to relieve pain. Dr. Miller shows you how to perform these exercises at home.  

If you’re ready to find relief from jaw pain and reduced function, schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Miller today. You can book online or over the phone, but don’t delay. There’s no need to live with the symptoms of TMJ disorder when there are safe and effective treatments available.