What is TMJ?

Disorders associated with your temporomandibular joint and surrounding muscles are commonly diagnosed as TMJ. TMJ conditions cause pain and dysfunction in the joints and muscles of your jaw that control movement.

The causes of TMJ disorders include:


  • Eroding disks
  • Misalignment of your jaw
  • Damaged joint cartilage


In many cases, the cause of TMJ isn’t apparent. This particular disorder falls into three main categories:


  • Myofascial pain: discomfort in the muscles that control your jaw function.
  • Internal derangement: displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to your condyle.
  • Arthritis: a group of degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders

It’s not uncommon to have more than one of these conditions at the same time.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

The most common symptoms of TMJ  include:

  • Headaches: similar to migraines
  • Earaches
  • Pain and pressure behind your eyes
  • Clicking or popping sound while opening and closing your mouth
  • Discomfort brought on by yawning, opening your mouth widely or chewing
  • Stuck or locked jaws

How is TMJ diagnosed?

The doctors at Prime Smile Dental Group diagnose TMJ by reviewing your medical and dental history and conducting a clinical examination that includes X-rays. It’s important to have a proper diagnosis because other disorders share similar symptoms.

How is TMJ treated?

There’s no cure for TMJ. However, several treatments help reduce your symptoms. These include:


Muscle relaxants, aspirin, and anti-inflammatory drugs help relieve the pain associated with TMJ.

Night guard

Wearing a night guard helps reduce the harmful effects that often result in TMJ, including tooth clenching and grinding.


Many relaxation techniques help control muscle tension in your jaw. Eliminate stress in your life to reduce TMJ problems.

The dentists at Prime Smile Dental Group also recommend:

  • Eating soft foods
  • Avoiding gum chewing gum and nail-biting
  • Applying heat
  • Jaw muscle strengthening exercises
  • Fixing an uneven bite

In most cases, TMJ is relieved with self-managed care and nonsurgical treatments. The doctors at Prime Smile Dental Group recommend surgery as a last resort after more conservative measures fail.

If you have facial pain and think it might be TMJ, call or make an appointment online today with one of the dentists at Prime Smile Dental Group in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Book Appointment

Contact Us

Have a brief question you would like answered by one of our experts? Please use the form below:

What They Say About Us


I have been going here for over 15 years! I saw Dr. Ingerman for many years until more recently when Dr. Rahimi took over his practice. The staff is always welcoming, friendly and very professional! I never have to wait to be seen. I would highly recommend this place!

Kristie Jensen

Kristie Jensen

I have been going to smile dentist for years, they are always so friendly and comforting every time I come in for a visit. The office is always so clean and organized. I would recommend this dentist office to anyone! Great job!

Melinda Fleming

Melinda Fleming

This is one of the best dental experiences I’ve ever had. The staff is very welcoming and friendly. The dentist Dr. Rahimi went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable during procedure. I would highly recommend this place!!

Susie Degirmencian

Susie Degirmencian

Our Shop

Our Blog

October is Dental Hygiene Month.  Who’s Your Child Dentist?

October is Dental Hygiene Month.  Who’s Your Child Dentist?

It’s never too soon to start teaching your child healthy habits! Here’s a look a few tips to get your child started on the right path.

What is Apicoectomy?

What is Apicoectomy?

Although an apicoectomy is rarely considered in modern day dentistry, being educated in your options is always best.

What is Massachusetts Invisalign Treatment?

What is Massachusetts Invisalign Treatment?

If you’re not happy with your smile, but don’t want to commit to braces – Invisalign may be the answer you’ve been waiting for.