|Some people use the term TMJ specialist. However, there is no specialty designation in dentistry for TMJ work, so it would not be accurate to call Dr. LaVacca a TMJ specialist or a TMJ dentist.While no one can technically be referred to as a TMJ specialist, Dr. LaVacca’s education, experience and training as a board-certified prosthodontist and fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists make him eminently suited to diagnose and treat your TMJ pain.”TMJ” stands for temporomandibular joint, and we have two, one on each side of the head connecting the upper and lower jaws together. This joint is complex, as it has both a hinge motion and sliding motions, and problems with TMJs can also be complex, potentially involving muscles, tendons, teeth, ligaments and/or nerves, in various combinations.Temporomandibular joint disorders are often caused by the teeth not coming together properly in a comfortable rest position. They can also be caused by trauma to the joint.|
Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
People with temporomandibular joint disorder may experience:
- pain in and around the ear,
- popping or clicking noises when opening the mouth,
- headaches or neckaches,
- tenderness of the jaw.
Sometimes, the source of your pain is easily diagnosed as a sinus infection, toothache, or the beginnings of periodontal disease. In other cases, Dr. LaVacca may determine that you are experiencing TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), and further testing will be necessary to determine the cause and course of treatment.