TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. On each side of your face, your jaw attaches to the bottom of your skull. The muscles in this area allow a person to open and close one’s mouth.

Sometimes a person can experience pain in the jaw if the joint gets misaligned, this is called TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder.  TMD pain can be a horrible pain near your ear, jaw or around the muscles of your face. Some individuals even hear and feel a clicking or popping sound that can impact jaw movement.

Causes of TMD

The origins of TMD are not always apparent. The pain can be associated with trauma such as a dislocated jaw, a jaw that is not lined up correctly, strained tendons and ligaments, teeth grinding, and even arthritis.  Age, gender, and genetics may be factors affecting individuals, typically ranging between 20 – 40 years of age.  In particular, women are more prone to the condition than men.

Symptoms of TMD

  • Headaches accompanied by facial and or dental pain
  • Pain in your jaw joints or upon jaw movement.
  • A change or shift in how your teeth fit together when closed.
  • Limited jaw movement and stiff muscles in your jaw.
  • Clicking or popping sound accompanied by other symptoms.
  • Ear pain or pressure, and or tinnitus.

Treating TMD

Some simple strategies are slow gentle stretching or anti-inflammatory medication.  Switching your diet to softer foods more comfortable to chew may also provide relief.  In more severe cases, other measures may need to be taken such as orthodontics, bridgework restoration or even a cortisone injection.

The first step to address the condition of TMD would be to make an appointment with Dr. Nichols and her dental team for an examination. Together we develop a plan using a variety of strategies depending on the severity so that you are not in pain.


Contact info

1795 Penfield Rd.
Penfield, NY 14526

Opening hours

Monday:               8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tuesday:              8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday:        10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday:             closed
Friday:                  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday:              8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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