Do You Have a Problem with TMJ?

TMJ Pain

Is TMJ causing my pain?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Located just in front of the ear, it is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your head, allowing the jaw to move freely while biting, chewing, and speaking. Problems related to the TMJ can affect jaw muscles, teeth, and nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Times of stress can cause or aggravate TMJ, since most of the discomfort is attributed to overuse of muscles during clenching or grinding of teeth (bruxism).

TMJ symptoms can manifest in different ways:

  • A headache, especially in the temporal (side) region
  • Soreness or stiffness of the neck
  • An earache without an infection
  • Jaw pain or soreness, especially in morning or late afternoon
  • Jaw pain when talking, yawning, or eating
  • Jaw becomes stiff or locked when talking, yawning, or eating
  • Clicking of the jaw joint
  • Teeth are painful or sensitive, with no apparent dental problem

How is it treated?

Most of the time, TMJ cases can be treated with rest, a mild pain-killer, and/or practicing some relaxation techniques. Work diligently to break bad habits of clenching or grinding teeth, and if you experience bruxism at night, we can make you a comfortable mouth guard to prevent the extra wear and tear!

About Dr. William J. Black

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the UCLA School of Dentistry where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Black has 8 children, works actively with the Boy Scouts of America, and enjoys gardening.


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