Jaw Disorders

Most problems with the jaw come from the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles that help you chew. Dr. Michele Claeys has treatments that can ease this pain and discomfort.

What does TMJ stand for?

The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are the hinges that connect your lower jaw to your skull. The disorders associated with the TMJ muscles are often referred to as TMD or TMJ Disorders. TMD is not just one condition, but a group of painful disorders that affect the TMJ and the muscles one uses to chew.

What is TMD or TMJ Disorder?

TMD is not just one condition, but a group of painful disorders that affect the TMJs and the muscles one uses to chew. It affects more women than men, and is usually temporary or occasional, but a small percentage of sufferers have serious chronic problems.

Do I have a TMJ Disorder?

The following are symptoms of TMJ Disorders. Not everyone experiences all of these problems. If you experience some of them, speak to Dr. Michele Claeys and have her perform a thorough examination.

    • Jaw pain, stiffness or soreness
    • Jaw pain while chewing, biting, or yawning
    • Painful or tender jaw joint
    • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
    • Restricted range of jaw movement or “locking” of the jaw in an open or closed position
    • Painful clicking, popping, grinding or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth
    • Pain and fatigue when eating hard or chewy food
    • Bruxism – grinding or clenching of teeth when awake or asleep
    • Earaches without an ear infection
    • Sensitive teeth and toothaches without evidence of dental problems
    • Teeth that break or crack without an apparent cause
    • Aching or radiating pain on the side of the head, face, neck and shoulders
    • A burning sensation in the mouth/tongue
    • Frequent unexplained headaches – sometimes diagnosed as migraines

How can TMJ be treated?

There are a number of treatments available, ranging from stress reduction techniques, to dental appliances to muscle relaxants. It is also best to make some simple adjustments like eating soft foods, and not chewing gum. Discuss available options with Dr. Michele Claeys.