TMJ Specialist
If you have jaw pain, especially when you wake up in the morning, you might have what’s known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). The symptoms of this disorder can make it hard to open your jaw, which can interfere with talking and eating. At Danforth Dental in Framingham, Massachusetts, Dr. Frank A. Facella provides diagnostics and treatment for patients with TMJ symptoms.


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What are the Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder?

You might have TMJ if you have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Jaw soreness and tenderness
  • Ear pain
  • Facial pain
  • Trouble chewing
  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Trouble opening and closing your jaw
  • Clicking noise when chewing or opening your jaw

Why Do I Have a TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorders occur when your temporomandibular joint isn’t able to move smoothly. This joint connects your lower jaw to your skull on both sides of your head. When it can’t work the way it should, this affects the muscles and other structures that are part of it. You can develop TMJ disorders from several different causes, including the following:

  • Grinding your teeth, known as bruxism
  • Being under stress
  • Having bite problems, such as an overbite or underbite
  • Having an injury that affects your jaw, head, or neck
  • Having an underlying condition linked to joint pain, such as arthritis

Dr. Facella evaluates your condition to determine the cause of your TMJ symptoms. Keep in mind that in some cases, no cause is ever found.

How Does Dr. Facella Diagnose a TMJ Disorder?

Dr. Facella conducts a physical exam that involves feeling your jaw as you move it. He’ll also listen for any clicking sounds as your jaw opens and closes. Dr. Facella asks you to open and close your jaw as widely as possible to see how far you’re able to move it. He’ll also check for other areas of pain and soreness around your joint.

How Does Dr. Facella Treat TMJ Disorders?

The treatment you’ll need for a TMJ disorder depends on what’s causing it. Treating the underlying cause usually helps ease symptoms of this condition. If you have a TMJ disorder due to bruxism, Dr. Facella might recommend wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth. If you have a TMJ disorder due to a bite problem, Dr. Facella might recommend an oral appliance that corrects it. These types of treatment should relieve symptoms of a TMJ disorder.

If you have symptoms of TMJ, please contact Danforth Dental to make an appointment.

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