If you experience a clicking sound or pain when you chew, you may have a TMJ disorder. Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint where your skull and your jaw meet. When the joint and the chewing muscles do not work together correctly and you experience symptoms, it is important to seek treatment as this could lead to a more serious condition.

Unfortunately, no one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely. However, the skilled surgeons at CVOS Oral Surgery will work to reduce your symptoms and relieve your pain so that your life may return to normal.



TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • Excessive clenching and grinding of your teeth due to stress
  • Injury or disease to the joint
  • Arthritis in the joint

Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, a clicking or grating noise when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.


How do you know if you have a TMJ disorder? While a conclusive diagnosis can only be provided by properly trained oral healthcare professionals, such as the doctors at CVOS Oral Surgery, here is a list of common indicators:

  • Frequent grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Waking up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws
  • Frequent head or neck aches
  • Increasing pain when you clench your teeth
  • Clicking, popping, grating, catching, or locking of your jaws when you open your mouth
  • Difficulty or pain when opening your mouth to eat or yawn
  • Past injury to your neck, head, or jaws
  • Previously diagnosed problems (such as arthritis) with other joints
  • Teeth that no longer touch when you bite
  • Teeth that meet differently from time to time when you bite
  • Difficulty using your front teeth to bite or tear food
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?


Your TMJ treatment begins with a thorough evaluation of your symptoms, history, and an examination of the affected area. Once your diagnosis is confirmed, a treatment plan for your condition will be developed to relieve joint pain and muscle spasms.

In addition to the steps taken by your CVOS doctor, the successful treatment of your disorder will take time and your consistent attention to self-care. You play an integral role in your treatment process:

  • Resting your jaw
  • Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
  • Eating soft foods
  • Applying ice and heat
  • Exercising your jaw
  • Practicing good posture

In some cases, stress management practices and the use of a splint (e.g. a nightguard) may also be recommended as part of your treatment.


A common question among TMJ patients is, “will I need surgery?”

The doctors at CVOS Oral Surgery typically will not consider TMJ surgery unless your jaw can’t open, is dislocated and nonreducible, has severe degeneration, or you have undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully in the past.

How To Schedule An Appointment

To receive your initial consultation with one of our oral surgeons, please contact your family dentist and ask to be referred.