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A TMJ and Sleep Therapy Centre of St. Louis patient experiencing great sleep after their diagnosis and treatment.

Educational Resources About Sleep Apnea and TMJ

  • Writer's pictureKatheryn Hunt

TMJ Symptoms: How Jaw Pain Can Be a Warning

TMJ treatments at The TMJ and Sleep Centre of St. Louis
Temporomandibular joint pain

Pain in the jaw that is persistent and unrelated to an injury isn’t normal. When jaw pain starts interfering with eating, talking and other daily habits, it is time to consult with a doctor to determine the cause of the pain.

Individuals who experience chronic jaw pain might assume that they are suffering from TMJ. What is TMJ? The term TMJ does not necessarily refer to a condition, but it has become synonymous with TMJ disorder (TMD or TMJD).

What does TMJ Stand For?

TMJ technically refers to the temporomandibular joint. This joint is located on either side of the jaw. The TMJ is painless; individuals should not experience TMJ pain when eating, talking, drinking, etc.

About TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder impacts the joint and/or the muscle in this region. The disorder is commonly known as TMJ, but some doctors refer to TMJ disorder as TMD or TMJD. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is estimated that between 5 to 12 percent of adults suffer from TMJD and women are more affected by this disorder than men.

TMJ symptoms and treatments at the The TMJ and Sleep Centre of St. Louis

What are the Most Common TMJ Symptoms?

TMJ disorder can be associated with a variety of symptoms. Individuals can experience all or only a few of these symptoms. Jaw pain is the hallmark symptom of the disorder, but TMJD also can lead to migraines, headaches that radiate to the cheek and snoring.

If TMJ results in snoring and/or airway obstruction, the disorder also could lead to issues related to sleep disturbances. Individuals might feel lethargic during the day, have trouble concentrating or even experience mood issues.

What is the Best TMJ Treatment?

Some treatments only mask the pain of TMJD. This doesn’t address the disorder; masking the pain and simply treating the symptoms is , a short-term solution. Dr. Jeremy Frith, Dr. Mike Frith, and the team at The TMJ and Sleep Centre address the origin of the disorder and create care protocols that treat the cause of the disorder.

In most cases, Dr. Frith creates a customized appliance that is designed to properly position the jaw. The appliance takes pressure and pain off of the joint and muscles to facilitate proper joint movement and positioning.

How to Cure TMJ Permanently

Curing TMJ is the ideal solution to relieve symptoms. The TMJ and Sleep Centre designs treatments that address the cause of the disorder. This involves creating a customized appliance that positions the jaw and takes pressure off of the pinched nerves, joint, and muscles.

Dr. Frith will discuss the treatment plans with each patient and help them understand the cost associated with therapy.

What Causes TMJ?

The Mayo Clinic explains that not all causes of TMJ disorders can be determined, but this disorder could be due to sleep, issues, arthritis, teeth grinding, injury, genetics or even developmental. Dr. Frith assesses each patient’s case to determine the cause of the disorder and facilitate a treatment plan that provides relief and long-term results.

Is TMJ Pain Always Indicative of TMJD?

If jaw pain is interfering with daily activities, it is time to schedule a consultation to evaluate the pain and diagnose the underlying cause. Complete the pain survey to understand if jaw pain could be indicative of TMJ disorder, then call The TMJ and Sleep Centre of St. Louis to schedule an appointment with Dr. Frith and the team.


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