TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, at the least is annoying, at the most can be very painful and disrupt your life. Doctors and dentists use the term to speak about inflammation in the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. This can cause pain, popping, or both. At Exquisite Smiles, Dr. James Phelan wants to help identify if you have TMJ and provide you with some potential solutions.

What Causes TMJ?

There are a number of causes of TMJ, some brought on suddenly and some build up over time. Trauma like a car accident can strain your jaw and cause TMJ. Or things that build up over time like clenching your teeth, teeth grinding, stress, or arthritis can cause TMJ as well.

What are the Symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ is characterized by jaw pain, popping, locking, pain while yawning and chewing, or opening the mouth widely, and certain headaches and neck aches. Symptoms also include pain around the ears or face and tenderness in the jaw.

What are the Treatment Options?

Treatment options are very individualized, depending on the causes and the severity for each patient. Treatments can include medications, therapies, and surgeries or procedures. Some of these options more specifically are:

Medications: Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), muscle relaxers, tricyclic antidepressants

Therapies: Oral splits or mouth guards, physical therapy, counseling

Surgeries/Procedure: Arthrocentisis, injections (like Botox), open-joint surgery


To find a treatment that is going to be the most effective for you, contact us today at Exquisite Smiles. Dr. Phelan will help you establish a plan to improve your jaw pain and popping and hopefully eliminate it altogether.