Dr. Timothy J. Dunn and Dr. April J. Castro, Bethesda MD Dentist  
Jaw Problems
tmj sufferer

What is TMJ?

TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint, which is a fancy way of saying jaw joint. Clinically, we refer to problems associated with the TMJ (jaw joint) as TMJ Syndrome or TMD (disorder). But many patients just call it "TMJ". Often, TMJ Syndrome presents itself as a popping sound and sensation near the jaw joint. That's why some patients refer to TMJ as "That's my jaw!"

Who can have TMJ Syndrome?

TMJ problems can afflict people of all ages, although patients under 40 are more susceptible and it occurs more frequently in women.

What are the Symptoms of TMJ Syndrome?

TMJ Syndrome symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches, stuffiness, or ringing in the ears
  • Pain or soreness in and around the jaw joints
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness in fingers and arms
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Limited movement or locking of the jaw
  • Clicking or grating sounds in the jaw joints
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain
  • Facial pain
  • Unexplained loosening of teeth

Left untreated, the TMJ symptoms increase in number and severity as you get older.

What should I do if I suspect TMJ Syndrome?

In order to determine the best course of treatment, an accurate diagnosis is imperative. Consult with Dr. Dunn or Dr. Castro to determine if you are suffering from TMJ Syndrome. Many times all that's needed is a simple adjustment to your bite (the way your teeth come together), or a small mouthpiece that corrects the way your jaw joint closes.