TMJ stands for temporo-mandibular joint, and when it is giving you trouble, it is consuming. When it is out of alignment or has muscle spasms, it can cause headaches, difficulty eating, sleeping, and other problems.
There is no official designation in dentistry of TMJ specialists. So while we have a special interest in this treatment and have pursued extensive additional education to learn how to treat these disorders, it would not be accurate to any dentist, no matter how expert, a TMJ specialist, because legally, there is no such thing.
There are a number of things that can cause TMJ malfunction, including traumatic injury or bite discrepancy. One of the best ways to ensure a healthy temporo-mandibular joint is to have a balanced occlusion. If your teeth all meet harmoniously and your bite is balanced, your jaw will function smoothly and you should not have this kind of trouble. But if you have a missing tooth that has not been replaced, resulting in tipping of the adjacent teeth, or if you have crooked teeth and a crooked bite, or if you have had dental work placed that has not been properly harmonized with the rest of your teeth, it can provoke pain in this joint or in the associated muscles.
Recommended treatment for TMJ disorders covers a wide range. Sometimes all it takes is a simple appliance that you may wear at night to give your jaw rest. Sometimes it can involve what is called a full-mouth reconstruction, where all the teeth have to be restored in order to create a harmonious bite. We strongly favor the most conservative treatment that will work. This is our approach in all of our dentistry.