The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint that connects the mandible (lower jaw bone) to the rest of your skull. Located just below your ears on each side of your head, this joint allows your jaw to move smoothly to chew, speak, and yawn. When this joint becomes damaged or stressed, it can cause a significant amount of pain and discomfort. This condition is called temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD. Common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include the following:

  • A clicking, grinding, or popping sound in the jaw joint when you open and close your mouth
  • A locked jaw or difficulty opening your mouth wide
  • Pain in the jaw when chewing or speaking
  • Pain or ringing in the ears
  • Chronic jaw pain
  • Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders
  • Chronic headaches

If you notice these signs, we urge you to contact El Cerro Dental. Dr. Gary Cappelletti will carefully examine you to determine the cause of the TMJ disorder; common causes include stress, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), arthritis in the TMJ, or trauma to the jaw, head, neck, or shoulders. Based on the cause, our dentist will be able to recommend a treatment. Your TMD treatment may include a custom-made bite guard or night guard, facial and muscle relaxation exercises, lifestyle changes, restorative dental care, or jaw surgery for more serious cases. Call us today to learn more about treatment for the TMJ in Danville, California.