TMJ Learning Center

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), also known as TMD, causes many symptoms that can range from a dull throb or discomfort to severe pain. For some people, their TMJ is so advanced that they cannot open their mouths wide enough to chew or bite. Dr. Hester’s experience is unique in that he has not only been trained in the latest advancements of TMJ therapy and treatment, he has also been a patient in the program, and can understand both sides of treatment. We hope the information in this Learning Center will help you decide on your next steps to relief from these symptoms.

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome) or TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders) involve the temporomandibular (TM) joints, which are located on each side of your head. These joints enable you to speak, chew and yawn. They work with the muscles, ligaments, discs and bones in your face to help you carry out these everyday functions.

TMD may occur when your temporomandibulares aren’t working properly. TM joints impact all areas of your face and can cause a great deal of pain when they are not operating properly.

The exact cause of TMJ and TMD remains unknown, however many dentists believe that the symptoms can stem from problems with the jaw muscles or with parts of the joint itself. You can attribute problems with your TM joints to:

  • Clenching or grinding your teeth.
  • Tightening of your facial muscles or jaw due to stress.
  • Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
  • Rheumatoid arthritis in the TM joints or osteoarthritis.
  • An injury to your neck, jaw, or head.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain and/or limited ability to open the mouth.
  • Headaches, teeth, jaw, facial and even neck, shoulder and back pain.
  • Clicking or popping noises in the jaw joint.
  • Worn, cracked or loose teeth.
  • Teeth that are sensitive or painful.
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
  • Vertigo (dizziness).

Dr. Hester is a trained Gneuromuscular (GNM) Dentist. This means that he has dedicated himself to advanced education, training, and clinical skills to help you find relief from your TMJ or TMD symptoms. His training in this area of dentistry focuses on these 3 main points:

  • TMD Pain Management
  • Restorative/Prosthetic Reconstruction
  • Orthodontic/Orthopedics

During a consultation with Dr. Hester, he will discuss the history of your TMJ or TMD and help you decide on the best options for treatment. He will examine your symptoms in depth and provide you with the best recommendation for relief.

If you have any questions, please give our office a call. We are here to serve you and provide you with quality dental care.

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What Others Are Saying

Brad Hester is an awesome dentist! I have been with him for years and wouldn’t consider going to anyone else! He helped me with my TMJ syndrome, adjusted a bite guard I needed a million times or so, has always shown concern for me and my family, and his staff is wonderful, as well! If you don’t have a dentist yet, or have one you don’t particularly like, what are you waiting for?!

– Jenny B., Facebook

We had issues and concerns with a prior dentist and dental hygienist. Dr. Hester listened to them and worked through them with us. Our experience has been excellent and we highly recommend them to others. Many people stop going to the dentist for years like we had but now we look forward to getting regular dental care. The office staff is very professional. Tianna is the only dental hygienist we will see as she understands our issues. Dental care is a major investment in our household and they worked through the financial part with the treatment plan. Dr. Miller is also outstanding and we would see her anytime as well. Overall, they are professional, flexible, empathetic and courteous. We no longer live in the area and typically travel over 900 miles to see them twice a year! It is worth the time and effort to see them!”

– Roger D., Google