What is TMD/TMJ?

Chronic jaw pain is a common problem that affects more than 20% of the population nationwide. Temporomandibular Disorder, known as TMD or TMJ, covers a variety of conditions associated with the temporomandibular joints located on each side of your jaw. These disorders, while not life threatening, can be annoying and affect various areas of your life.

Signs and Symptoms

TMD affect more than just the temporomandibular joints but also the surrounding muscle groups associated with them. Because of the various components that are associated with TMD, the symptoms can vary in their presentation. Some of the signs and symptoms of TMD are:

  • Jaw pain that is aggravated by chewing or yawning
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Pressure Behind the Eyes
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Sensitive teeth


TMD has multiple causes and usually there are multiple factors involved in developing the disorder. Since TMD affects multiple muscle groups and joints, the extent that each factor affects TMD is unknown. These are some of the causes of TMD:

  • Arthritis
  • Overbites and underbites
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Genetics
  • Clenched Teeth

Treatment Options

Managing TMD symptoms can be difficult because it is unknown how big of a role each factor affects the disorder. Luckily, TMD does not require surgery, nor do we recommend it. At Desoto Family Dental Care, one of our doctors will be glad to discuss and diagnose the severity of your TMD with you. Typically most patients with TMD fall into one of two categories:

Mild to moderate disorder – usually we can prescribe a night guard to alleviate most of the symptoms and many times prevent the disorder from progressing. This is a simple process which helps to reduce the stress and trauma caused by the mentioned above causes.
Moderate to severe disorder – most of the time these patients will be referred to a specialist that we work with on a regular basis to treat their symptoms. Many patients who have suffered from intense pain have had tremendous improvements with his recommended treatment regimen.

After your initial exam, one of our specialists will go over treatment and pain management options for your TMD. Your treatment plan will be created to make sure your TMD symptoms are managed correctly. If you have any questions about TMD or any of our other services, click here.