Is TMJ Disorder Your Problem?

Does your jaw pop and click when you open and close it? Do your jaw and/or face feel stiff, sore, and chronically uncomfortable? Your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, has helped many patients find relief from craniofacial discomfort by treating a condition known as TMJ disorder, which affects the joints and muscles that control your jaw’s movement. Today, we explore how TMJ disorder can develop and list a few other seemingly-unrelated aches and pains that may also indicate a jaw dysfunction.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder is named after your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs for short, that connect your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull, just in front of each ear. Like other joints and muscles throughout your body, overexertion can damage your TMJs, leading to inflamed and sometimes misaligned joints that can result in debilitating chronic discomfort. How these small joints can cause such discord throughout your head, neck, and facial areas can be explained by the nerve that innervates your jaw. Called the trigeminal nerve, your jaw’s nerve is only one of three branches of the same nerve. The other two branches spread throughout the much of your craniofacial structure, and the trigeminal nerve accounts for the majority of your cranial nerves’ input to your brain. The jaw pain from TMJ disorder can be transferred along the nerves path, leading to a number of varying issues.

The Different Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Aside from jaw pain, TMJ disorder can also be the cause ofchronic headaches, earaches, lockjaw, neck pain and stiffness, difficulty moving your jaw, and many others. Because of the diversity of TMJ disorder’s symptoms, the condition is often misdiagnosed, or written off as bad nerves. As a result, many patients can endure for years before discovering the possibility of TMJ disorder and seeking appropriate treatment.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.