Just about everyone has experienced jaw pain at some point. The extent of the pain can range from mild to severe depending on the reason. Jaw pain can be associated with different dental issues, however, in many cases the pain is related to temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In this blog, let’s go more in depth as to what TMD is, its symptoms, and the treatments.

What is TMJ and TMD?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint which has a series of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones that help move the jaw side to side, backward and forward. Essentially, this joint acts similar to a sliding hinge connecting your jawbone to the skull. When something flares up within this joint, such as the muscles and ligaments that surround it, you will have difficulty moving your jaw and pain can result.  The result can be classified as TMD or temporomandibular disorder.

TMD Symptoms:

The best way to identify TMD symptoms is to meet with your dentist and review the symptoms that you are experiencing.

Here are a few of the most common symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Tooth pain
  • Swelling on either side of your face
  • Pain or discomfort when chewing
  • Uncomfortable bite
  • Having difficulty when opening or closing your mouth
  • Clicking sound when you open and close your mouth

Unfortunately there is not one main cause of TMD, however there are many contributing factors and therefore TMD can develop if you have any one of these conditions.

  • Chewing too much gum
  • Erosion over time of the discs in your jaw
  • Chronic clenching or grinding of your teeth
  • Tightening of your facial and jaw muscles caused by stress or anxiety
  • An injury to your jaw

Diagnosing TMD:

So how do you know when it is time to make an appointment with your dentist? If you are experiencing continuous jaw pain, tenderness or difficulty opening and closing your mouth, it is time to make the appointment. Your dentist will feel around your jaw joints when you open and close your mouth and observe your range of motion when opening and closing your mouth. Other ways to diagnose TMD are panoramic X-rays, cone beam computed tomography scans, and an MRI.


If you have been diagnosed with TMD, your dentist may discuss some at-home solutions to relieve the symptoms. Anti-inflammatories are one of the most beneficial medications used to treat TMD. There are also some non-surgical interventions that your dentist might suggest such as oral splints and/or physical therapy.

If you are experiencing persistent jaw pain, contact Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry. Dr. Abrams can discuss your symptoms and develop a treatment plan. Give us a call at 615-595-6111 or fill out our contact form to schedule your appointment.

Introducing Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry’s New Membership Plans

July 18, 2024

Choosing SureSmile Clear Aligners is an investment in your long-term oral health...

Read More

Why Patients Should Choose SureSmile® Clear Aligners

June 25, 2024

Choosing SureSmile Clear Aligners is an investment in your long-term oral health...

Read More

What to Expect When Getting a Dental Implant

June 14, 2024

Dental implants are a state-of-the-art solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring...

Read More

Radiography Made Safer: How We’re Protecting Your Health During Dental Visits

May 22, 2024

At Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, your safety and well-being are paramount in...

Read More

The Importance of Regular Professional Teeth Cleaning: How Often Should You Go?

May 14, 2024

Maintaining good oral hygiene goes beyond just brushing and flossing at home....

Read More

Unlock the Fountain of Youth for Your Smile: Tips to Prevent Aging Teeth

April 25, 2024

As we age, we often focus on maintaining our youthful appearance, but...

Read More

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

April 4, 2024

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to highlighting a...

Read More

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Crown or Filling

March 21, 2024

At Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, we understand dental procedures can sometimes feel...

Read More

Your Guide to Unveiling the Beauty of Dental Veneers

February 22, 2024

Have you ever admired someone’s flawless smile and wondered how they achieved...

Read More

Say Goodbye to Sensitivity: Effective Solutions for Sensitive Teeth

February 19, 2024

Are you tired of wincing in pain every time you indulge in...

Read More

Understanding Gum Disease & How to Prevent Periodontal Problems

February 5, 2024

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis and periodontal disease, is a condition...

Read More

Primescan Technology Gives Our Patients the Best Dental Care

January 25, 2024

Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry is proud to introduce the latest addition to...

Read More

Composite vs. Amalgam: Understanding Dental Fillings

January 11, 2024

When it comes to dental fillings, many patients have questions about the...

Read More

Dental Items Make Great Stocking Stuffers

December 14, 2023

When it comes to holiday gift-giving, we often think of big-ticket items....

Read More

Your First Visit: What to Expect

December 12, 2023

Welcome to Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, where we believe in providing comprehensive...

Read More