A TMD Facial Pain Quiz

When your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) suffers an injury or undergoes stress from clenching jaws or grinding teeth (bruxism), you could experience various aches and pains. Nerves connected to the hinges of your jaw could cause discomfort from the jaw to your back that your dentist may be able to treat. Do you know what TMJ disorder (TMD) treatment plans are available? How can you determine that your pain is related to TMD? In this quiz, Lake Forest cosmetic dentist Dr. James Fondriest tests your knowledge of facial pain and other symptoms of TMD.


1)      True or False: Facial pain is not a TMD symptom.

2)      True or False: Teeth show the effects of TMD.

3)      True or False: Your dentist can only treat TMD with surgery.


1) False: Stress can trigger TMD by causing clenching jaws and tightening of facial muscles. Excessive pressure on the jaw, teeth, and muscles near the mouth can radiate pain. The longer TMD goes untreated, the higher the risk of facial pain. Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can develop in the temporomandibular joints and spread pain throughout the face via irritated nerves.

2) True: In fact, one source of facial pain could be a toothache caused by bruxism. Clenching your jaw and grinding teeth can lead to broken or cracked teeth, which can cause pain. Treating TMD cannot only prevent pain directly from TMD, but also dental complications that can cause further discomfort.

3) False: Your dentist can prescribe a custom-fitted nightguard to prevent teeth grinding while you sleep. TMD could also stem from dental issues, like missing or damaged teeth that cause malocclusion. Dental procedures, such as placing a crown or dental implant, can realign your bite and relieve discomfort. You can take precautions to avoid aggravating TMD symptoms, as well. Eat softer foods and avoid chewy or hard foods, to rest your jaw. Cooling or heating packs can also soothe pain from TMD.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Lake Forest Dentist

Dr. Fondriest utilizes his extensive experience in TMJ therapy to provide effective treatment plans for his patients. Call (847) 234-0517 to schedule an appointment at our  office. We welcome patients from Lake Forest and North Shore suburbs of Chicago.