Bend Family Dentistry - Bend, OR

TMJ Learning Center

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome

*New patients only.

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.


Give our office a call or fill out the form!


What Others Are Saying

I've had an excellent experience with Bend Family Dentistry - Third Street. I switched to Bend Family Dentistry - Third Street after leaving my previous dental office that I was at for 12 years. Best decision ever! Took my daughter there for an extraction of a baby tooth and was incredibly pleased with how she was treated as well. Excellent customer service from everyone there.
Marci H.
Very pleased with my cleanings and exams at Bend Family Dentistry - Third Street. I've been seeing Tiana for years now and don't ever want to see anyone else. She is thorough, gentle and always makes me feel at ease. I will continue to refer friends and clients to Bend Family Dentistry - Third Street.
Alyson B.
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