Information on TMJ Disorders From Your Chicago Dentist

Did you know that 15% of Americans suffer from severe facial pain? Our team has found that over half of our patients exhibit symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ dysfunction disrupts the natural and harmonious movement of the facial bones, muscles, and ligaments. Dr. James Fondriest holds extensive experience with diagnosing and treating TMJ dysfunction and TMJ disorders. His education includes TMJ related-training at the prestigious L.D. Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, Florida.

What is a TMJ Disorder?

TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint”. Each person has two of these joints located just below the ears, near the lower jawbone. The joints connect the lower jaw to the temporal bone in the face.  The TMJ moves rotationally and transitionally which allows for opening and closing the mouth and many other daily functions such as chewing, biting, or yawning.

What is TMJ Dysfunction or Disorder?

TMJ disorder disrupts the harmonious flow of movement between the muscles, bones, and tissues of the face. This dysfunction can manifest problems and painful sensations when opening the mouth, chewing food, and closing the mouth. In addition, the muscles around the TMJ area become strained because they are trying to correct the misalignment of the jaw. The medical community attributes many causes to this disorder. Some TMJ disorders may be caused by traumatic injury to the face, bruxism, stress, or arthritis.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

  • Headaches
  • Clicking or popping sounds when the jaw moves or opens
  • Facial pain, especially near the jawbone
  • Teeth wear
  • Gum recession
  • Clenching of the teeth
  • Grinding of the teeth
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears
  • Toothaches
  • Inability to open the mouth fully
  • Neck pain
  • Pain when chewing, biting, or yawning

If you are concerned that you may have TMJ disorder, consider seeking treatment with Dr. James Fondriest will help determine the cause of your problem and provide you with treatment options that will address your individual needs. To schedule an appointment, call our Chicago dentist office at (847) 234-0517. We serve residents of Lake Forest and the surrounding cities.