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Jaw Joint Problems
Annapolis, MD

Picture of woman in pain holding her jaw along with a picture of skeletal x-ray of her jaw joint in Annapolis, MD near Djawdan Center for Implant and Restorative Dentistry. The jaw joint is an area of our body that we don't think of until it's a problem. We use our jaw joint continuously throughout each day; we use it to chew, breathe and speak. Pain, discomfort or the inability to use it, can make this small task seem huge.

At Djawdan Center for Implant and Restorative Dentistry, our Annapolis doctors, Dr. Djawdan and Dr. Cross, and awesome dental team can evaluate the problem and create a treatment plan to correct any misalignment of your jaw joint allowing you the freedom to use it once again without thought.

What is TMJ?

Known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), these two joints are located on each side of your mouth, and connect your lower jaw to your skull. They work as a hinge, allowing you to open and close your mouth. When they are aligned correctly, you should be able to open and close freely and easily.

When the joint is disrupted, you can experience a number of symptoms in the joint or surrounding muscles and ligaments indicating that something is wrong. This may include popping, clicking, pain or a tired sensation in the joint.

You can also experience problems opening and closing your mouth fully. Some may even experience seemingly unrelated facial pain including in the ears, brow, or through migraines. We need to discover where the disruption is and treat it.

What Can Cause Disruption in a Jaw Joint?

In order for your jaw hinge to open and close correctly, the joint has to be in alignment. There are multiple reasons the alignment could be out of order, including:

Bad Bite: Known as a malocclusion, a patient's bite can cause disruption in the positioning of the jaw joint. This can include an overbite, underbite, crossbite and more. The alignment of your teeth affects the jaw joint. In many cases, this would require correction with an orthodontic device including braces, aligners, spacers and more.

Missing Teeth: Losing adult teeth is problematic for your oral health, including your jaw joint. Many patients assume that a lost tooth can alleviate spacing issues in their mouth, and though it does free up space, it allows for uncontrolled movement of neighboring teeth. The shifting of teeth alters your bite, and you can pretty much count on that it won't be in your favor.

Applied Force: Any form of blunt force trauma to your face can move your jaw hinge joints out of alignment. Whether it was a car accident, a fall, a sports injury, an assault, or even just an accidental elbow to the face, the jaw joint can be shifted leading to much larger problems.

Arthritis: Arthritis is pain in the joints due to inflammation. Arthritis in the jaw and surrounding joints can cause pain due to swelling, inflammation and constant use.

Wear Over Time:
There are muscles that strain with wear and tear over the course of time. This includes the muscles that surround our jaw joints. We will need to see how we can strengthen these muscles and provide relief. It may include decreasing inflammation and resting the joint with a dental appliance.

What Symptoms Point to Jaw Joint Problems?

Some symptoms of jaw joint problems are obvious, and some are less so. We ask that you share all facial related symptoms with our team during your evaluations, even if they seem irrelevant. Symptoms can include:

Pain or Tiredness in the Joint: You may be experiencing any range of a painful sensation, for some this may be mild, and for others it can be excruciating. Some patients report feeling like your joint is tired.

Unusual Sensation: You may have a harder time describing it, but feel a sensation of popping, clicking, or just like the hinge can come undone.

Inability to Fully Open or Close: Patients tend to think of lockjaw as being fully unable to open or close their jaw, but it can be any level of inability to use.

Facial Pain:
Various facial pain can be a harder symptom for some patients to recognize and associate with their jaw joint. Disruption of the joint can cause pain in your ear, eyebrow, cheek bones, it can even be the cause for headaches or migraines.

What Can I Do About Jaw Joint Problems?

Treating jaw joint issues begins with an evaluation. We need to determine the cause for the disruption and then create a treatment plan, some plans can take time and multiple steps. In some cases, orthognathic surgery to realign the jaw may be required.

Treatment plans may include:

•  Teeth Alignment: We may need to correct and restore your bite. Even if you have had orthodontic work in the past, something may have caused your alignment to shift. In some cases, wearing a dental appliance can help. For many patients, this may mean braces, a retainer, or more.

•  Restore Missing Teeth: Missing teeth is problematic for your bite, for your bone health, and can even cause disruption in your jaw joint. We will want to restore missing teeth. This can be done with various treatment options including a dental bridge or denture, or we can even fully restore missing teeth using a dental implant and crown.

•  Orthognathic Surgery: Surgery is a choice we can make when other non-surgical options fail. Surgically resetting the joint into alignment can help.

Can I Ignore Jaw Joint Problems?

A common step in many adults is trying to ignore problems and hope they go away. In some cases, ignoring jaw joint pain may work. Sometimes we experience pain from inflammation or soreness.

In most cases, the symptoms are present as a warning system that something is wrong. We want you to always listen to your body and the messages it is trying to convey.

Having your jaw joints examined is an easy step that could save you pain, frustration, and possibly even money. We invite you to simply find some answers and then weigh the solutions.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

For more information on jaw joint problems, contact our Annapolis office by calling or texting us at (443) 569-8764 today!

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(443) 569-8764


(410) 266-7645


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Jaw Joint Problems - Annapolis, MD • Djawdan Center
At Djawdan Center for Implant and Restorative Dentistry, we are here to help answer all your questions about jaw joint problems. Learn more here!
Djawdan Center for Implant and Restorative Dentistry, 133 Defense Highway STE 210, Annapolis, MD 21401 • (443) 569-8764 • • 4/12/2024 • Page Keywords: Dental Implants Annapolis MD •