Is It TMJ Disorder?

Your jaw’s ability to move is as important to your oral health as the cleanliness of your teeth and gums. Without movement, even the healthiest, strongest teeth would be largely useless. Today, your Rochester Hills dentist, Dr. Brad Greenfield, explain a common jaw dysfunction called TMJ disorder that disrupts your mouth’s proper function, claims a wide variety of seemingly-unrelated symptoms, and can facilitate the destruction of your teeth and oral health.

TMJs and Your Mouth’s Function

Like other moving parts of your body, your jaw’s movement is controlled by joints. Your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, connect your moveable lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bones in your skull, located in front of each ear (if you place your fingers there, you can feel your TMJs move as you open and close your jaw). When these joints and the muscles around them are exposed to excessive stress, they can become damaged, inflamed, painful, and difficult to move. Common causes of TMJ disorder include malocclusion (crooked teeth), habitual teeth-grinding, a congenitally imbalanced jawbone, or a traumatic injury, among others.

Influencing the Destruction of Your Jaw’s Joints

Patients with TMJ disorder often experience chronic headaches, earaches, lockjaw, and stiff/sore facial muscles, usually due to tension in the muscles created by an uneven bite. For instance, teeth-grinding is not only a cause of TMJ disorder, it can also be a manifestation of the jaw dysfunction and can cause the excessive wear of your teeth. Severe migraines and other chronic discomforts can significantly affect your quality of life, as well, making treatment all the more necessary.


Dr. Brad Greenfield works to protect his patients from the dangers of inadequate dental restorations, and he is proud to offer holistic, 100% metal-free dentistry. To learn more, or to schedule a dental appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry today at 248-693-6213. We proudly treat patients in Lake Orion, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, Oxford, all surrounding communities.