Although the exact cause of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders is sometimes difficult to determine, there is no doubt it can be a source of pain and discomfort. Kelly Halverson DDS FAGD, is a general and biological dentist in Richardson, Texas, who specializes in diagnosing and treating TMJ in patients of all ages. She uses advanced technologies to get a 3D image of your jaw so she can recommend the most effective treatment to relieve your TMJ pain. Use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment or call the North Dallas-area office to speak with a friendly team member.
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. The TMJ is on either side of your jaw, by your ears. Your temporomandibular joints are a complex ball-and-socket system of bone, muscles, and ligaments that work together so you can move your jaw to talk, chew, or swallow.
These joints allow you to open and close your mouth and move it forward and back, or side to side. When part of this complex system doesn’t work correctly, you can develop a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorders occur for a variety of reasons, causing pain and discomfort in your jaw, face, and head.
It’s often hard to determine the exact reasons for your TMJ pain, but it may be a combination of factors, such as arthritis, genetics, or an injury. Many adults experience TMJ pain as a result of grinding or clenching their teeth when they’re feeling stressed or while they sleep. In other cases, your jaw’s alignment may be a contributing reason for TMJ discomfort.
You might hear or feel a clicking or grinding sound when you open your mouth or chew. Other symptoms include:
You may also experience neck pain or ringing in your ears from TMJ symptoms.
Dr. Halverson uses Cone Beam 3D imaging — a state-of-the-art technology that produces three-dimensional images of your jaw, teeth, soft tissues, and bones in a single computer tomography (CT) scan. The 3D imaging allows Dr. Halverson to evaluate your jaw, sinuses, and airway so she can treat your TMJ disorder as effectively as possible. She also uses the Carestream 9300, which combines 3D technology and panoramic imaging for an all-in-one image of your jaw.
These noninvasive X-ray machines provide an accurate picture of your jaw and temporomandibular joints. Treatment for mild TMJ disorders includes eating softer foods to let your jaw rest, avoiding chewing gum, and learning relaxation techniques to help with jaw clenching. Additionally, Dr. Halverson can customize oral appliances that you wear at night to decrease clenching and teeth grinding while you sleep.
If TMJ pain is causing significant discomfort, schedule an appointment using the online booking tool, or call the office.