Gulf Shore Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
Dr. Brian Childs, DDS, FICOI, FAGD & Dr. Andrew Haidet, DMD

What is TMJ?

TMJ is short for the Temporomandibular Joint (the joint in the jaw that allows up and movement of the jaw from side-to-side), but TMJ is also the term most often used to describe Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. TMJ can be caused by decay or dental trauma to the joint that enables movement of the jaw.

There are a variety of annoying and painful symptoms associated with TMJ such as headaches and neck or shoulder pain. When excessive force is placed on the joint in your jaw, it can cause uneven surfaces on the teeth. These uneven surfaces in turn create an unbalanced bite that puts excess stress on the TMJ.

Other symptoms of TMJ include sounds in the joint like clicking or popping when you’re moving your jaw. This noise occurs because the cartilage around the joint is gradually breaking down. Another of the common TMJ symptoms is ear congestion or ringing in the ears.

At Child and Childs Dentistry, we will work with you to diagnose the problem and recommend suitable treatment. We can create a removable night guard (or splint) that will help move your jaw into the proper position. In most cases, treatment relieves symptoms and promotes healing of the joint.