TMJ Disorders and Treatments

man holding his jaw in pain

TMJ disorders can cause discomfort and affect your daily life. Dr. Bustos at 3D Dentistry in Bradenton, FL, provides comprehensive TMJ disorder treatment to alleviate your symptoms and restore your oral health.

TMJ disorders are complications associated with the temporomandibular joint where the jaw and skull come together. This joint, although small, can cause chronic pain and symptoms that make performing everyday tasks quite painful or difficult. The symptoms of TMJ disorders are different from patient to patient, with some reporting pain that comes and goes and others describing symptoms that persist chronically for many years.

Did you know…

that TMJ disorders can occur at any point in life, but that they are most commonly diagnosed in young adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years old? The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons also reports that TMJ disorders are far more common among women than men. Though there is no way of knowing exactly how many people suffer from TMJ disorders (many go undiagnosed), the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that approximately 10 million people in the U.S. currently suffer from TMJ conditions.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

  • Jaw pain or soreness
  • Clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your mouth
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Earaches
  • Facial pain
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Why TMJ Treatment is Needed

TMJ disorders can lead to chronic pain, reduced quality of life, and potential complications. Seeking treatment is essential to relieve discomfort, improve jaw function, and prevent further issues.

TMJ Treatment Process

  1. Evaluation: Dr. Bustos will perform a thorough examination, which may include X-rays or imaging, to diagnose your TMJ disorder.
  2. Customized Treatment Plan: Based on the diagnosis, a personalized treatment plan will be created to address your specific needs.
  3. Pain Management: Pain relief measures may include medication, physical therapy, or the use of oral appliances like splints or mouthguards.
  4. Lifestyle Changes: Dr. Bustos may recommend lifestyle adjustments to minimize jaw stress, such as diet modification and stress reduction techniques.
  5. Orthodontic Treatment: In some cases, orthodontic correction may be recommended.
  6. Surgery (Rare Cases): Surgical intervention may be necessary for severe cases of TMJ disorder that do not respond to conservative treatments.

Preventing TMJ Disorders

While some TMJ disorders are unavoidable, you can reduce your risk by:

  • Avoiding excessive gum chewing
  • Reducing stress
  • Practicing good posture
  • Using proper ergonomics
  • Seeking treatment for teeth grinding or clenching


With timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment, most patients experience significant improvement in their TMJ disorder symptoms and overall oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible that I could need treatment for TMJ disorder?

Only your dentist can diagnose a TMJ disorder, but there are some signs and symptoms that could indicate the need to visit your doctor:

  • Your jaws ‘pop’ in and out of place
  • Your jaws get stuck in certain positions
  • You cannot open your mouth very wide
  • You hear grating or popping sounds when chewing your food or speaking
  • You have swelling on one or both sides of your face
  • You have pain in your face, neck or shoulders when speaking, eating or opening your mouth
  • You have chronic headaches or upper shoulder pain
  • You frequently experience dizziness
  • You have problems with your ears, such as earaches, ringing, or difficulty hearing

What should I expect during TMJ treatment?

If you are diagnosed with a TMJ disorder, your treatment experience will vary based on your diagnosis. Your dentist may attempt to treat your disorder first using conservative methods like pain relievers or muscle relaxants. If you require further treatment, bite guards are another option. Joint injections may be used to reduce inflammation and prevent pain. Few people will require surgery for TMJ.

Will I need to make any lifestyle changes to help prevent complications of TMJ?

Yes. TMJ disorders are often worsened by stress and the habits that form as a result of stress. For example, if you have a tendency to clench your jaw or grind your teeth when under stress, you may find that your TMJ symptoms worsen during those times. Your surgeon may recommend taking steps to reduce your stress levels, perhaps using massage or physical exercises. You may also be advised to avoid gum and taking large bites of food during meals.

Woman holding her jaw in pain, possibly suffering from a TMJ Disorder

Take Control of Your TMJ Health Today!

Don’t let TMJ disorders disrupt your life. Contact 3D Dentistry in Bradenton, FL, at 941-253-2300 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bustos and find relief from TMJ-related discomfort.


Give us a call today, or use our online form to schedule an appointment where the doctor can evaluate your teeth, and determine how we can help you achieve your oral health goals.

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