REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT 5000 W. 95TH STREET, SUITE 300, Prairie Village 66207



Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, more popularly known as TMD, is a condition that affects the jaw. The disorder causes pain in and around the jaw, as well as stiffness in the jaw and trouble opening and closing the mouth.

What Is TMD?

Temporomandibular joint disorders are conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles that control jaw movement. Symptoms include pain in the jaw or neck area, difficulty opening the mouth all the way, clicking sounds while chewing, and intermittent locking of the jaws when you open your mouth. This can be caused by clenching teeth due to stress or by certain behaviors like biting your fingernails or grinding your teeth at night. Treatment for TMD includes oral appliances and restorative dentistry treatments.

We often recommend a night guard for patients who suffer from symptoms of TMJ disorder. These custom-made oral appliances are made of hard acrylic material that fits over the upper and lower teeth and is worn while you sleep. They can relieve pressure from the teeth and prevent damage from nighttime grinding and clenching. If you wake up frequently with a sore jaw after your night guard has worn out, you may be a good candidate for a more advanced appliance that can reposition the jaw joint itself and give relief from symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of TMD?

Jaw discomfort and pain are the most common symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. However, these are not always the first sign that something is wrong. Many people with TMJ dysfunction do not report any pain or discomfort at all. Some symptoms are vague and may also be associated with other health conditions.

For example, chronic headaches or migraines are often mistaken for jaw pain and vice versa. If you experience frequent headaches or migraines, you should visit our office so we can determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. If your discomfort is noticeable throughout the day but disappears when you rest your jaw, it could be related to TMJ disorder.

Likewise, if your jaw feels “stuck” open, closed, or somewhere in between, you may have a problem going on with your temporomandibular joint. Symptoms can also include a clicking, popping, grating, or locking sensation when your mouth opens or closes. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the symptoms of TMJ can be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether.

How Is TMD Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, starts with a visual examination of the jaw joint area. However, other tests are necessary to determine the exact cause of the problem before it can be treated. X-rays may be taken to view the structure of the jaw and teeth. Other imaging tests like an MRI may also be ordered to see if there are any problems with the surrounding facial muscles or bones. All of these tests can determine the cause of the misalignment of the joint. Once the cause has been determined, your dentist will devise a treatment plan to correct it.

The most common treatments for TMD are the use of an oral splint or mouth guard to prevent clenching and grinding at night, as well as relaxation techniques. These treatments should be performed in conjunction with professional dental care to ensure optimal results. If symptoms persist after trying these at-home methods, your dentist may recommend prescription pain medications or adjusting your bite through orthodontic treatments. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged tissues or replace missing teeth to restore proper function to the jaw.

Bioesthetic Dentistry To Ensure Harmony of The Chewing System Components

If you have any functional or esthetic problems with your teeth, like chipped teeth, worn teeth, recurrent head, neck, or shoulder aches, jaw pain, or the habit of teeth grinding, it may be the result of chewing system disharmony. At our dental office, Dr. Dallam can address this with the help of bioesthetic dentistry. Instead of just treating the symptoms, this treatment approach analyzes the cause of tooth wear and other chewing system disharmony and conducts an investigation of your tooth positions and occlusion and the functioning of your temporomandibular joint to arrive at a proper diagnosis and treatment. This approach aims to create an ideal harmony between all elements of the chewing system and improve your teeth's shape and relationship. Dr. Dallam is one of only 200 dentists worldwide to earn accreditation in Bioesthetic Dentistry from the OBI Foundation for Bioesthetic Dentistry. The foundation provides in-depth dental training and instruction to general dentists, specialists, and dental technicians who desire to perform bioesthetic dentistry. This treatment concept strives to establish a perfect harmony between all components of the chewing system, and this is known as the optimal biologic form.

To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (913)-649-0310 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 5000 W. 95th Street, Suite 300, Prairie Village, KS 66207.