TMD refers to temporomandibular disorders, which are a group of conditions that cause pain in the jaw. This may include jaw pain, lockjaw, as well as pain in the facial muscles. These disorders can be complicated, sometimes requiring a team of specialists to diagnose and manage.

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What are the Symptoms of TMD?

Patients who are experiencing symptoms of TMD should see their dentist for evaluation. Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Jaw pain
  • Discomfort or soreness in the face

How is TMD Diagnosed?

To diagnose TMD, a dentist will consider your medical history, conduct a physical examination, and ask you questions about your pain. He or she may also take orthodontic X-rays to examine your bite alignment and the position of the jaw.

What are the Treatments for TMD?

A patient suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction may require different treatments depending on the severity of the condition. The first step in treating a patient who suffers from TMD is to make sure the patient is comfortable. Once the patient is comfortable, there will likely be a number of treatments recommended. Some treatments include:

Oral Appliances

Custom oral appliances can address many of the symptoms of TMD. They are designed to properly position the jaw, which can reduce tension on the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, allowing for proper function.

A custom oral appliance is fabricated based on your impressions. Your dentist in Joliet IL can design one that will address your specific symptoms.

We offer several types of oral appliances. A night guard to prevent clenching and grinding. A bite guard to help with overbites. And an occlusal guard to reposition your jaw to alleviate pain.


A mouthguard is often recommended to relieve pain caused by TMD. It can help to protect teeth from fracture and relieve jaw muscles from strain. These oral appliances are custom designed to fit comfortably in the mouth.

Surgical Options

Not all cases of TMD require surgery, but it can be very effective. Surgical procedures such as arthroscopy and arthrotomy are used to address the underlying issues that are causing your TMD. TMJ specialists perform these procedures on an outpatient basis, and patients can return home the same day.

TMJ Replacement Surgery

If your TMJ joint is causing your jaw to lock or pop when you open your mouth, TMJ surgery may be appropriate. During the procedure, the damaged joint is removed and replaced with a prosthetic. The prosthetic is usually made from metal or ceramic, and your dentist will customize the prosthetic to fit your facial structure.

Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is used to treat the misalignment of the jaw and teeth. This treatment plan often includes orthodontics, oral surgery, and restorative treatment.

Stress can be the worst cause of TMD. Are you running through stress? Join the club. We are nice and if you push us, we get nicer. There are many ways to help you outside of dentistry. We absolutely need to talk so that we can extend our help to you.

At Dentistry with a Smile, we offer the best dental care possible to each of our patients in a positive and relaxing environment. If you’re ready to experience the best dental care, please contact us at (815) 254-2668 or visit us at 2716 Caton Farm Rd, Joliet, IL 60435.