Be Aware of TMJ Disorders: Signs & Symptoms and How Do We Treat It?

Be Aware of TMJ Disorders: Signs & Symptoms and How Do We Treat It?

Jan 05, 2022

Does your jaw hurt when you yawn, chew, or eat? Or does your jaw make a popping sound whenever you chew or eat? Does the above describe your situation? If it does, you most probably are wondering what is wrong. Sadly, this means that your temporomandibular joint is out of whack!

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a vital joint since it is the one that connects the jaw to your skull. If this joint is not working as it should, you might find chewing, talking, and even laughing uphill tasks.

The good news is that our TMJ specialist near you, Dr C. Romesh Weerasooriya, offers TMJ disorder treatment.

What Are TMJ Disorders?

The temporomandibular joint can be a mouthful to pronounce, but it is a crucial joint located on either side of the face or jaw. The jaw acts as a sliding hinge, enabling you to move your jaw from side to side, up and down. In other words, the TMJ is what enables you to talk, chew, laugh, and even yawn.

However, there are instances when the muscles responsible for moving the jaw are not working. If the muscles stop working, it can lead to a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Most people have mistakenly referred to this condition as TMJ.

What Are the Causes of TMJ?

TMD is believed to arise if there are any issues with the muscles that control the joint. But, the exact cause of TMD may still be unknown in some instances.

But in most scenarios, TMD can be caused by various factors such as:

  • Disc erosion in the jaw
  • Poor posture
  • A heavy blow to the jaw
  • Dislocation
  • Arthritis in the joint
  • Orthodontic braces
  • Connective tissue disease that might affect the muscles
  • Grinding and clenching your teeth that exerts a lot of pressure on the jaw muscles

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

In some cases, you might experience temporary symptoms that might go away in a few days without any treatment. However, some people may experience chronic symptoms that might last for several years. Pain is the predominant symptom. However, other symptoms are associated with TMD, such as:

  • Trouble chewing
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Swelling on either side of your face
  • Pain or tenderness in your shoulders, jaw, and neck
  • Grating, popping, clicking sounds, or opening your mouth
  • A tired feeling on your face
  • Jaws that get stuck in a closed or open position
  • Pain that radiates around your ear when you open your mouth or chew or talk
  • Uncomfortable bite

At times you may experience the popping or clicking sounds without any pain or limitation of movement. There might be no need to seek TMJ disorder treatment from our dentist in Venice if this is the case.

How to Cure TMJ Disorders?

Whenever you suffer from certain conditions such as gum disease, sinus issues, or even arthritis, you may experience similar symptoms. Therefore, visiting our dentist in Venice is vital since a thorough physical examination can shed some light on your issue.

Our dentist will inspect your jaw to check for tenderness, clicking sounds, or pain. Also, our dentist will examine your jaw movement.

X-rays will also be taken so that our dentist can get a clearer picture of your jaw. Also, a CT scan can be used to give a detailed view of your jawbone.

Once our dentist is certain that you have TMD, the following recommendations may be made:

Medical Treatment

As mentioned earlier, the main symptom associated with TMD is pain, so our dentist may prescribe the following medication:

  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, which are essential in reducing inflammation and relieving pain
  • Muscle relaxants, which can be used to relieve pain for a limited time
  • Tricyclic antidepressants that control bruxism and relieve pain


Our dentist may also recommend the following therapies that can be used with medication:

  • Physical therapy that can strengthen your jaw
  • Oral splints or mouth guards that can aid in jaw movement


If the above therapies are ineffective, then the next step will be to undergo surgery. Some of the viable options are:

  • Arthrocentesis
  • Injections
  • Open joint surgery
  • TMJ arthroscopy

Pain caused by TMD can be debilitating and can hinder you from enjoying your day. If you need TMJ treatment near you, contact our dentist in Venice, Dr C. RomeshWeerasooriya, at Tarpon Shores Dental to schedule an appointment.