1025 Vey Way • The Dalles, OR 97058 • 541.296.5766 • E-mail

Dennis Alleman, DMD, PC

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

  • Jaw pain or soreness, particularly noticeable in the morning or afternoon
  • Jaw pain while chewing, biting, or yawning
  • Earache without an infection, sometimes spreading to the face
  • Soreness in front of the ear
  • A clicking or grinding sound when opening or closing your mouth
  • Difficulty opening or 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 of the mouth or tongue
  • Grinding and wear of your teeth
  • Restricted range of jaw movement

A thorough Dental and Occlusal examination is the first step towards a solution. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may include a bite guard or stabilization appliance, muscle relaxants, refining the shape and bite of your teeth, crowns or braces.

Causes of TMJ Disorders

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 of teeth may develop from stress or as part of sleep disorder.

This can tire muscles and lead to painful spasms that can cause more grinding, clenching and tooth wear as the body tries to find comfort. Repeated muscle problems can affect the joints, resulting in tissue damage, muscle tenderness, more spasm, perpetuating a cycle of pain.

Left unchecked TMJ symptoms can progress through muscle spasms and tooth wear to Arthritis-either Degenerative Arthritis or usually more painful Rheumatic Arthritis.

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