Debunking the Myths About TMJ Disorder

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Two joints below the ears control jaw movements; these are referred to as temporomandibular joints or TMJ. Activities like laughing, speaking, eating, drinking, or even yawning requires the use of said joints.

When the muscles in the jaw joint (TMJ) gets damaged or overworked, they don’t have the time to rest and heal naturally. As a result, it leads to a condition referred to as TMJD (temporomandibular joint disorder), or simply TMJ. If the disorder is left untreated, it can cause pain, throughout the entire upper body, lockjaw, headaches, chronic migraines, earaches, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Luckily, some treatments exist to provide a medical intervention that alleviates the symptoms of TMJ. At Thomas & Thomas Dental, the prescriptions we offer to patients with TMJ disorder include pain relievers, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, mouth guards, injection treatment, and surgery.

TMJ disorder

Unfortunately, several myths about TMJ disorder are spreading, which can be harmful to those who believe them. To clear the air of misconceptions and provide facts, we have prepared some points to debunk these myths.

TMJ disorder only affects the jaw. 

TMJ disorder does not only involve the jaw joints. Just because it is called “TMJ disorder,” it doesn’t mean that this only affects the jaw area. The muscles are interconnected; thus, problems with the jaw joints can spread throughout the upper body. It is not uncommon for TMJ pain to radiate in the head, neck, ears, shoulders, and even the upper back.

Treating TMJ disorder requires oral surgery.

Some people believe this myth because problems with other joints—such as the knee and elbow joints, tend to require surgery. As a result, people assume that jaw joint problems will require surgery as well. Of course, surgery is one of the treatments that can help, but this is not the only solution. To know the best course of treatment, booking an appointment at our practice is ideal.

The cause of TMJ disorder is teeth grinding.

This myth is not entirely false because teeth grinding, technically referred to as bruxism, is only one of the many causes of TMJ. The other factors that can result in the said disorder include jaw injury, arthritis, inflammation, and many more. Thus, it is possible to get TMJ disorder even for those who do not grind their teeth.


End the radiating pain from your jaw joints by availing treatments for TMJ Disorder in Phoenix, AZ. Here at Thomas & Thomas Dental, our entire staff is dedicated to providing wellness for our valued patients. Find us at 7150 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020. Call us to finally treat your TMJ pain!