TMJ is an easy acronym for "Temporomandibular Joint" that refers to the temporal bone of the skull in front of the ear on each side of the head.

There are many causes of TMJ such as trauma, bruxism or clenching. However, most patients experience symptoms periodically over years until it becomes a chronic issue.

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD Disorder) is a collective term that refers to the dysfunction of the masticatory (chewing) muscles, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or both, embracing a number of clinical problems. The disc in each TM joint is made up of cartilage located between the two articulating bones that allows the jaw to glide easily back and forth. Therefore, when malfunctioning TM joint becomes stretched or damaged, this can adversely affect the way one chews, yawn, talks, or swallows.

Symptoms May Include:

  • Chronic headache
  • Ear fullness or pain
  • Dizziness
  • Clicking, popping or grating on the jaw joint
  • Joint sounds
  • Limited jaw opening or locking
  • Pain when chewing
  • Facial pain
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Tired jaws
  • Difficulty closing the teeth together
  • Impaired swallowing
  • Snoring
  • Asymmetric jaw movement

Abnormal Disk

Healthy Disk

Per-Lennart Westesson, M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D.
Our thanks to Dr. Westesson, of the University of Rochester, for allowing us to utilize parts of his videos to demonstrate Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.

TMJ Treatment

TMJ treatment can often be successfully accomplished without surgery. The TMJ treatment plans we utilize at our Fort Collins TMJ/TMD treatment center generally focuses on calming the surrounding muscles and ligaments, relieving the pain, and reducing pressure on the TM joint. This is achieved by creating a custom-fitted oral appliance that is made of clear acrylic, which is worn by the patient on either the upper or lower teeth. The orthotics are customized for the patient's medical needs so that it relieves strain and pressure and allows ligaments and muscles to heal.

We provide many TMJ treatment options in conjunction with appliance therapy at our Fort Collins TMJ/TMD treatment center.