TMJ FAQ

jessica larson

Serving Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle

Temporomandibular joint disorder, also referred to as TMJ, occurs when the joint becomes misaligned or enters a state of dysfunction.

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ or think you may suffer from the disorder, here are some questions that can help you understand this painful disorder.

What causes TMJ?

TMJ can be caused by a variety of factors, including the following:

  • An injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or the muscles of the head and neck
  • Teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism
  • Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint
  • Stress
  • Uneven bite
  • Missing teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Crooked or misaligned teeth

Any one of these factors can compromise the nerves and muscles of the jaw joint, causing pain and inflammation, which aggravates the trigeminal nerve, the most prominent nerve of the head.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

Common symptoms of TMJ may include: 

  • Facial pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Clicking or popping sound in the jaw, or locking jaw
  • Problems or pain while chewing
  • Bite misalignment, also known as malocclusion
  • Headaches of the extremely painful variety
  • Ringing or congestion in the ears

How is TMJ diagnosed?

A neuromuscular dentist is the most qualified medical professional to diagnose and treat a case of TMJ. Dr. Clinton Esler has received a fellowship from the Las Vegas Institute, which is considered the elite post-graduate dental training facility in the world and the finest place to learn the specialization of neuromuscular dentistry.

Using our state-of-the-art technology, Dr. Esler will determine the severity of your TMJ, as well as the cause. Once the cause is determined, we can move forward with the best treatment. Since treating TMJ is not a one-size-fits-all approach, a consultation is best in determining whether you have TMJ and in choosing the best treatment.

How is TMJ treated?

We use some of the most advanced dental technologies available to diagnose and treat TMJ, such as a K7 scan, a TENS unit, and a T-Scan. Using a combination of information collected by our diagnostic technology, Dr. Esler can determine the degree of your jaw misalignment.

Treatment options for TMJ can include: 

  • Pain medication
  • Oral appliances
  • Orthodontics
  • Dental restorations

If you suffer from TMJ, a qualified neuromuscular dentist must treat this disorder in order to be resolved. To schedule a consultation for TMJ, contact our office by calling (806) 358-8021.

The Esler Dental Group is proud to serve patients in Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle.

6834 Plum Creek Dr.

Amarillo, TX 79124

(806) 358-8021

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