Answers to Questions About TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder (a dysfunction with your jaw’s joints) is one of the most evasive dental issues, despite the sometimes-debilitating nature of the pain it causes. Actually, the wide range of possible TMJ warning signs is one of the main reasons why diagnosing the condition can be difficult. Besides jaw pain, symptoms can also include headaches, earaches, dizziness, and other symptoms that might not even seem to relate to your dental health. To help you determine if you should be concerned about your jaw health, we answer a few common questions about TMJ disorder, and why it causes such widespread discomfort.

What exactly is TMJ disorder?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, two of which connect your lower jaw, or mandible, to your skull, at the temporal bone. TMJ disorder can describe a number of different issues that involve damage, misalignment, inflammation, degradation, or trauma to the joints and the muscles that move them.

What causes the jaw pain?

Your TMJs can be afflicted in a number of ways. For example, an imbalanced bite can force your jaw to work harder, or excessive stress can cause you to consistently clench your jaw and grind your teeth together. In any case, once the joints and muscles are afflicted, they can disturb your jaw’s nerves, which also traverse the majority of your head, neck, and face, spreading the discomfort to numerous other areas.

Can I cure this at home?

In minor cases, the symptoms of TMJ disorder can be relieved with home remedies, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, gently massaging your temples, and placing an ice pack or heating pad over the joints. In other cases, however, you may need professional treatment to alleviate whatever is causing damage to your jaw joints.


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.