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TMD or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Lakeside Family Dentistry & TMJ in Columbus, GA

Temporomandibular joint "TMJ" syndrome, also known as TMD, is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint and the jaw muscles. This hinge is formed by the temporal bone of the skull and the lower jaw, or mandible.

TMJ is often called the "Great Imposter", because it is overlooked as a cause of problems or mistaken for some other disease. The causes of TMJ are complex. The TMJ tendency may be inherited or the result of childhood injuries. The symptoms can lie dormant for some time and then suddenly appear for no apparent reason. Because of the diversity of symptoms and contributing factors, many people seek help for years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

The temporomandibular joint is unique in that it is made up of two separate joints that work together to control the movements of the jaw. Changes in a patients bite can cause the movements of the jaw to pop or grind when opening. When the disc does not move correctly with the jaw it can cause pain. Several things may cause this change to occur including; missing teeth, dental work, injury of trauma to jaw, grinding and clenching.

Since our TMJ patients are fitted with Gelb appliances, many, with prior orthodontic treatment, ask if their TMJ appliance can be worn in conjunction with their orthodontic retainers. The answer is yes! The two mouth pieces accomplish two very different functions. Orthodontic retainers are made to “retain” teeth in a certain position while TMJ appliances are designed to reposition the jaw joint in a certain position. For the convenience of our TMJ patients we are able to design the appliance to fit comfortably over the orthodontic retainer.

Symptoms of TMJ

Head Pain or Headaches:

  • Temple pain or headaches

  • Shooting pain up back of head

  • Hair and/or scalp painful to touch

Ear problems:

  • Hissing, buzzing or ringing in ear

  • Ear pain or ear ache with no infection

  • Clogging "itchy" ears

Jaw problems:

  • Clicking, popping jaw joints

  • Grinding sounds at jaw

  • Pain in facial muscles


  • Clenching or grinding at night or through the day

  • Looseness and soreness of back teeth


  • Pain behind eye

Neck problems:

  • Lack of mobility, stiffness

  • Neck Pain

  • Tired, sore muscles

  • Shoulder aches


  • Discomfort

  • Limited opening of mouth

  • Inability to open smoothly

  • Jaw deviates to one side when opening

  • Bite has changed; teeth don't meet together

In addition, CEREC crowns cover dental implants--today's best standard for tooth replacement. CEREC technology creates partial crowns, too--beautiful inlays and onlays that replace large fillings inside and around the cusps of teeth. Bonded right to the teeth, inlays and onlays seamlessly restore teeth to full function, bite and aesthetics.


Interested in Same-Day CEREC Crowns? Call our Columbus, GA dental office
today at (706) 323-6491 to schedule a consultation!

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