Are you suffering from headaches, migraines, earaches, trouble chewing, pain in the face, or irritating jaw popping? There is a possibility that you may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).

People often refer to TMD as TMJ. However, TMJ stands for the temporomadibular joints that connects your lower jaw to your skull and allow your jaw to move up and down and side to side. TMD is actually the disorder of these joints.

What causes TMD? TMD can be caused by an injury, such as a heavy blow to the jaw. However, other causes may be:

  • A misalinged bite, called malocclusion
  • Wearing away of the disk or cartilage in the joint
  • Stress or anxiety leading to clenching or grinding of the teeth, otherwise known as bruxism
  • Orthodontic treatment, such as braces and the use of headgear
  • Genetics

Who’s most at risk? The risk for TMJ problems may be higher with these factors:

  • Age – people from the ages of 30- 50 are most often affected
  • Malocclsuion – top and bottom teeth don’t fit together ideally, so the TMJs endure stress
  • Female – women seek treatment for TMJ problems more than men
  • High Stress – grinding and clenching of the teeth is often a side effect of too much stress

What are some signs and symptoms? TMJ problems often cause these symptoms:

  • Limited movement or locking of the jaw
  • Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening your mouth
  • Pain, usually when chewing , in the jaw joint, or near the ear
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Earaches, dizziness, or hearing problems
  • Tingling fingers or toes
  • Low back and neck pain

I’m Dr. Corbet Locke, and I can effectively diagnose and treat TMD.  Using advanced technology, I can determine the extent of damage and the best method to re-align the joints and restore your bite. I am one of the few dentists in the county to practice neuromuscular  dentistry based on centric relation. I studied TMD at the nationally renowned schools, Las Vegas for Advanced Dental Studies and the Pankey Institute in Florida.

If you are experiencing TMD symptoms, please call my Waco office at (254)776-4888.