November brings awareness to “TMJ” (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) and the effects that it can have on someone. Advanced Dental Arts wants to provide you with information on how this disorder surfaces, what are the causes, and how to treat TMJ. After all it is TMJ Awareness Month!

What exactly is TMJ Disorder, and how do you know when you have it?

Your jaw plays a very important role in the major functions of your mouth, it essentially works like a hinge on a door. When strained, imbalanced, or injured, the Temporomandibular Joint becomes discomforted. Dr. Susana Kulangara states that if you ignore TMJ Disorder, it will only create more pain and could result in deeper rooted issues. Your doctor may refer you to a dentist or an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to diagnose your condition. Your doctor may examine your jaw to see if there is swelling or tenderness if you have symptoms of a TMJ disorder. More than likely a mouthguard can be prescribed to you to prevent further erosion of the jaw and/or teeth.

What generally causes TMJ?

The areas of the jawbones that interact with the Temporomandibular Joint are covered with cartilage and separated with a small disk that absorbs shock and allows for a smooth movement. Sliding or grinding of the jawbone area is one of the main causes of TMJ Disorder and usually occurs over an extended period of time. If sliding and grinding isn’t the case, the following are other causes of developing a TMJ Disorder:

  • Jaw misalignment
  • Physical injury
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Poor posture


What are some common symptoms of TMJ?

 If you think you have TMJ or could be developing it, it is recommended that you see your dentist immediately to obtain the proper diagnoses and care to treat the disorder. Some signs that you could already have TMJ are the following:

  • Jaw, face, back, or neck pain
  • Ear pain or clogged feeling
  • Ringing ears
  • Lockjaw
  • Excessive tooth wear
  • Clicking or popping jaw


Call to schedule an appointment with ADA at 813.701.5074 listed at the top of our Website.