Temporomandibular Joint


Does your jaw make a clicking or popping sound every time you open and close your mouth?

Sometimes this can be a symptom of a condition called a TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, connects your jaw bone to your skull and is responsible for opening and closing your mouth along with moving your jaw from side to side.

You can feel this joint by placing your hands on your face in front of each ear and opening and closing your mouth.

What causes TMJ Disorders?

There’s still no definitive answer for what causes this disorder but research shows the following likely play a role:

  • Trauma or injury to the jaw
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth, also called bruxism
  • Misaligned bite
  • Stress
  • Arthritis

Signs of a TMJ Disorder

According to the American Dental Association, over 15% of Americans suffer from chronic facial pain including headaches, earaches or jaw pain. Most of the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty or pain when chewing
  • Clicking or popping when opening the mouth
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Pain or ringing in the ears
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Facial or jaw aches and pains
  • ‘Lock jaw’

How is TMD treated?

TMJ disorders are often referred to as TMD even though the acronyms are used sometimes interchangeably.

Many doctors and dentists address the symptoms of TMD but don’t treat the actual source of the issue. Dr. Pappas believes in getting to the root of the problem that is causing the pain or discomfort. Customized treatment plans are vital for success as there’s no one size fits all solution since every case of TMD is unique.

Dr. Pappas has over 20 years of experience helping patients identify the source of their TMJ related discomfort. If you’re tired of living in pain, call us right now at 602.957.9643 and start your journey to healing.

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