Sore Jaws? You Could Have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your skull and jawbone together, acting as a hinge that allows you to speak, eat, and perform other everyday functions. TMJ symptoms in North Little Rock, AR can cause significant pain and anxiety, not to mention interfere with your jaw functioning, sleep, and mood.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ disorder is sometimes challenging to pinpoint because its symptoms can mimic other health conditions. We encourage you to schedule an appointment at Mounts Dental Care right away if you notice one or more of these symptoms:

  • Ear pain without the presence of an infection
  • Feeling depressed or anxious for no discernable reason
  • Frequent headaches
  • Pain when chewing food
  • Pain in the temporomandibular joints in your jaw, which can include involuntary locking of one or both joints
  • Persistent facial pain that feels like a dull ache
  • Tenderness and pain in your jaw
  • Waking up without feeling rested several times a week

You may also notice a clicking sound when you open and close your jaw. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need treatment for TMJ disorder if it is your only symptom.

Diagnosis and Treatment of TMJ Disorders in North Little Rock, AR

When you arrive at Mounts Dental Care for your appointment, Dr. Mounts or Dr. Pearson will ask you to open and close your mouth and observe how your jaw behaves. Your dentist may also place his hands on the jawbone to help determine whether TMJ disorder is the problem. You will then need diagnostic imaging to determine the cause of your TMJ pain.

The most conservative course of treatment for TMJ disorder is taking prescription medication for pain relief. Muscle relaxants can also help, as can wearing a mouthguard at night or completing physical therapy. It is only when these types of methods fail that your dentist might recommend corrective surgery.

Please contact our dental practice for an evaluation if you feel you have TMJ symptoms.

3 Tips to Destress (and How It Can Help Your TMJ)

TMJ is not always taken very seriously by the people who experience it. Because symptoms may not be very life-altering at the beginning, it’s easy to manage the condition with little more than a painkiller. However, the reality is that TMJ in Little Rock, AR often stems from stress, which will prompt you to clench your jaw or even grind your teeth at night. If this sounds at all familiar to you, it might be time to try a few things.


You don’t have to become an Olympic athlete to get the benefits of calisthenics. Just a walk around the block can do wonders for your stress levels. Because exercise puts you in the moment, it’s a great way to give your body and mind a boost. Plus, exercise helps bring down your cortisol levels, also known as the ones that cause stress.

Take Charge

The more you procrastinate on the things that have to get done, the more you’re going to regret it. While procrastination may feel good in the short-term, it’s absolutely not doing you any favors. The more you can take control of the items on your plate, the fewer reasons your jaw and teeth will have to tense up.


Journaling gives you the chance to really understand your feelings, which aren’t always obvious until you actually scratch them all out on paper. Just the act of getting it out can do wonders for your stress levels.

Find a Dentist in Little Rock, AR

If you’re experiencing the pain of TMJ, which is often felt in the teeth as much as it is in the joints, the staff at Mounts Dental Care is here to help. Give us a call if you’re looking for a dentist in Little Rock, AR who knows the ins and outs of TMJ.

What You Should Know About Your Temporomandibular Joint

What is your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ? It’s the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull, and you have one on each side of your face. It acts as the hinge that allows your mouth to open and close. As you may imagine, a problem with your TMJ could be quite inconvenient, uncomfortable, or even painful. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in the area of your temporomandibular joint, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist in North Little Rock, AR.

What Is TMJ Disorder?

Temporomandibular disorders, or TMDs, affect this joint, usually causing pain that may radiate to other areas. This pain may feel like a headache, a toothache, or a pain in your jaw. Injury may cause TMD. Other causes include grinding your teeth, arthritis, or simple genetics. Regardless of why you’re having pain in this area, treatment from a dental professional is required if you’re to find relief.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

  • Headache
  • Jaw ache
  • Tenderness or pain beneath the ears
  • Pain when chewing
  • General facial ache
  • Clicking or grinding when you move your mouth
  • Locked joint

Treatment for TMJ Disorder

Usually, TMD clears up with modest treatment that includes anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, or physical therapy. In severe cases, or when there has been injury to the TMJ, surgery may be necessary. Your dentist may also fit you for an oral appliance, such as an oral splint or mouthguard, to relieve your pain.

Help for TMJ Disorder in North Little Rock, AR

If you’re struggling with pain in or near your temporomandibular joint, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Mounts Dental Care in North Little Rock, AR. At Mounts Dental Care, our friendly and experienced team is ready to help.