What Causes TMJ Disorder and How Is It Treated?

What Causes TMJ Disorder and How Is It Treated?

November 1, 2021

Sometimes you may be relaxing, then you start feeling dizzy, nausea, headache, or you can’t move your jaw properly. Since various diseases are associated with the named symptoms, you might not know what is causing them. Well, it can be an imbalance in your temporomandibular joint.

Suppose you develop a TMJ disorder and don’t know which provider to contact for treatment, contact or visit us at Tri-Cities Dental Specialists for the best treatment services. To learn more about TMJ, read on.

What is Temporomandibular Joint?

This is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone at each side of the head. It is felt in front of the ears when one opens their mouth. The joints are flexible; hence you can move your jaw smoothly from side to side and up and down without any difficulties. It enables us to chew, talk and even yawn. The movement of these joints is controlled by the muscles attached to them. The rounded ends of the lower jaw glide along with the joining socket when we open our mouths. When the mouth is closed, the rounded ends get back to their original position. A disc between the condyle and the temporal bone absorbs shock from movements in the mouth for smooth motion.

What Does TMJ Disorder Feel Like?

It is associated with pain in the jaw and compromised movement of the jaw joint and the muscles surrounding it. The disorder falls into these categories:

  • Internal derangement of the joint: The disc is displaced, and there is jaw dislocation. Also, the condyle is injured
  • Myofascial pain: you feel pain and discomfort in the muscles that control the function of the jaw
  • Degenerative joint disease: The jaw joint is affected by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

Causes of TMJ Disorder

You can get a TMJ disorder when:

  • You experience a direct trauma in the face. The jaw often breaks along the condyles.
  • The cartilage of the joint is damaged by arthritis
  • Discs between the ball and the sockets joint dislocate
  • You have an improper bite
  • Dealing with stress
  • Grinding and clenching the teeth

Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder

If you experience any of the signs and symptoms listed below, please visit a dentist near you for treatment. They include:

  • Granting sensation and clicking sound accompanied with pain and limitation of jaw movement when you open your mouth
  • Feeling pain in the temporomandibular joints
  • When you experience pain or tenderness in your jaw
  • Having chewing difficulties and pain while chewing
  • Aching pain around the ear
  • Joints are locked, leading to difficulties when opening and closing your mouth
  • Experiencing facial pain


When seeking treatment services from our periodontist in Coquitlam, they will recommend a variety of treatments options. These are:


These medications, along with other non-surgical treatments, help relieve the pain caused by TMJ disorders:

  • Muscle relaxants. You use these kinds of drugs for a few days or weeks. They help relieve the pain caused by muscle spasms.
  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. Your periodontist will prescribe stronger pain relievers when over-the-counter medications are inefficient. You’ll use them for a limited period.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants. These drugs are used for depression and, in low doses, used for sleeplessness and clenching control.


This is a non-drug way of treatment. It includes:

  • Counselling: Going for counselling will help you avoid some behaviours and factors that may provoke your pain. You should avoid leaning on your chin, biting your fingernails, and grinding your teeth.
  • Physical Therapy: You should exercise to strengthen and stretch the jaw muscles. It may also include the use of ice, moist heat, and ultrasound treatments.

Surgical and Other Procedures

When other treatment methods are not helping, our dentist in Coquitlam will suggest procedures such as:

  • Injecting botulinum toxin type A and Botox into the jaw muscles helps relieve the pain caused by TMJ disorders. These corticosteroid injections work for some people.
  • Open-joint surgery: If the jaw pain doesn’t fade under other treatments, a structural problem in the joint may be the cause. Your dentist will recommend an open-joint surgery to replace the joint. However, the surgery consists of many more risks than other procedures. Therefore, it would be best to consider it very keenly after inquiring about its advantages and disadvantages.

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