The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the joints and jaw muscles used to open and close your mouth. They are located on either side of your head and include muscles, ligaments, and the jawbone. The TMJ is used to chew, speak, and swallow. They are also used to move the lower jaw forward, backward, and side to side. Jaw joints have a disc between the ball and socket. The disc cushions the load of the joint movement, while allowing the jaw to rotate, glide, or open widely. Any problem that hinders these muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones from functioning properly can result in Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD). Common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:

  • Tenderness in the face, jaw joint, neck, shoulders, or ear area when chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth wide
  • Issues when trying to open the mouth wide
  • Jaws that lock in the open or closed mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the TMJ when chewing or opening and closing the mouth
  • A tired feeling in the face
  • Trouble chewing
  • A sudden uncomfortable bite
  • Swelling on the side of the face

Dr. Michael B. Wilhite is happy to treat TMJ in Davidson, North Carolina! Contact Davidson Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today to learn more and to schedule an appointment with our dentist.