Category Archives: tmj

What is TMJ?

jaw pain-tmjHave you been experiencing unexplained headaches, popping or click of your jaw, or pain in your face neck or shoulders? If you answered yes, then you may be suffering from TMJ.

What is TMJ?

TMJ, also referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, is a disorder where the hinge that joins the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly. It’s been said that this very hinge is one of the most complex joints in the human body, considering it’s responsible for smoothly moving the lower jaw up, down, forwards, backwards and even side to side. The hinge is what allows us to chew, speak and yawn. Many times, temporomandibular joint disorder feels like your jaw popping, clicking, locking up or “getting stuck” in place. It’s been reported that patients notice symptoms appearing with no apparent cause.

TMJ Symptoms

There are several signs and symptoms that come along with TMJ disorders. However, it can be difficult to be sure you have TMJ, as these signs can be present due to other medical problems. To get a proper diagnosis you should visit your dentist.

Common TMJ Signs and Symptoms Include:

  • Feeling pain or tenderness in your jaw muscles
  • Headaches (that mimic migraines) earaches and pain behind your eyes
  • Having pain in the face, neck or shoulders
  • Experience clicking and popping opening and closing your mouth
  • Jaw “gets stuck” , locks or move out of place
  • A sudden change in the way your lower and upper jaw fit

How is TMJ Treated?

Most experts strong suggest that you treat TMJ using the most conservative, reversible treatments possible, as more research is needed on the effectiveness and safety of alternative TMJ treatments.

  • To try to relieve and eliminate pain you can apply moist heat your jaw or take medication such as muscle-relaxer, aspirin or over-the-counter pain relievers, or anti-inflammatories.
  • Wear a dental appliance to reduce the harmful effects of clenching grinding such as bite plate or splint. These are customized dental appliances that slid over the upper teeth and keep them from grinding or clenching against the lower teeth.
  • Learn relaxation techniques to help control muscles spasms that occur in your jaw. Reducing the stress in your life can also ease TMJ symptoms.
  • Practice gentle jaw stretches and relaxation exercises to help increase jaw movement. Your dentist can recommend jaw exercises if it is appropriate for your induvial case.
  • Lastly, when the jaw joint become affected and the above treatments are unsuccessful, jaw joint surgery or Botox may be recommended.

Before you go ahead and receive any sort of TMJ treatment, be sure to get properly diagnosed with TMJ by a professional. If you are diagnosed your dentist will help choose the most appropriate TMJ treatment for your particular case.

If you think that you’re suffering TMJ, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit for additional information regarding temporomandibular joint disorder.

Dallas TMJ Treatment

tmj treatment dallasThree little letters can cause a whole lot of problems. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the jaw hinge, the area where your upper and lower jaws meet. It is one of the most heavily used joints in the body, performing thousands of operations a day while you talk, chew gum, eat, or yawn. When it’s working smoothly, you never notice it. But when there’s a problem, your TMJ can cause you chronic pain, vertigo, migraines, ringing in the ears, and earaches.

Ever seen someone under stress massage their jaw? There’s a reason. People tend to grind or clench their teeth when they’re worried. Perpetual grinding leads to muscle stiffness, aches and can begin to degenerate the joint itself.  If left untreated, TMJ problems can lead to severe dental problems like worn molars and malocclusion (teeth misalignment).

Teeth grinding and clenching (called Bruxism) during sleep is one of the top reasons for TMJ problems. Others include trauma to the jaw, changes to your bite, and even biting your nails.

If you have TMJ problems, you know it. It hurts! But TMJ pain can be confusing because the symptoms aren’t always located in the jaw. Frequently waking with a headache can be a sign of TMJ disorder. Some people report dizziness or vertigo; others feel ear pain or a sense of “stuffy” ears.  Often it takes a sleeping partner to notice that you are grinding away at night. Bakr ahmad hasan Even if you’re not in pain (yet) it’s important to protect your teeth from ongoing TMJ damage.

TMJ Treatment

Dr. Gary Alhadef often spots TMJ sufferers because their teeth have been ground down almost smooth and lack the normal bumps and valleys.  A simple acrylic night guard that fits over the teeth will often cure the problem. It’s called Occlusal therapy. Dental restorations and orthodontics can also bring a faulty bite back into alignment.

If you’re suffering from TMJ pain, take these common sense precautions.

  • Don’t chew hard items like ice or hard candies
  • Don’t open so wide for that triple cheese burger
  • DO look to alleviate stress and ensure a great night’s sleep
  • DO give your jaw a rest by opening your mouth as if saying “Aaahhh”
  • Use soft foods and anti-inflammatories if pain crops up


Image credit:  American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons