TMJ Specialist

Daniel D Barry III, DDS

General & Cosmetic Dentist located in Union Square, San Francisco, CA

Temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ or TMD, brings with it excruciating jaw pain. Before living another day in discomfort, visit Daniel D. Barry III, DDS, to find out the cause. Dr. Barry’s caring team in Union Square, San Francisco, helps you find a solution for TMJ starting with your first appointment. Because TMJ is often a sign of teeth clenching or grinding, it’s important to get treatment right away to ensure you don’t break or damage any of your teeth.

TMJ Q & A

Why do I have TMJ?

Sometimes it's difficult to figure out exactly why you have TMJ. It may be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Jaw injury
  • Arthritis
  • Dislocation

In some cases, a combination of these factors can lead to TMJ. While clenching and grinding your teeth can also cause TMJ, sometimes chronic teeth grinders don't ever develop this disorder.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

The most common complaint among TMJ sufferers is jaw pain. You may also experience:

  • Lockjaw
  • Tenderness or swelling
  • Ear pain or aching
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Unexplained facial pain
  • Clicking noises or sensations

Even though TMJ can cause jaw clicking, if it isn't associated with any pain or difficulty opening or closing your mouth, you might not need any treatment.

What are the treatments for TMJ?

The good news is that most of the time, pain, and discomfort caused by TMJ disorders are only temporary. With proper treatment, your uncomfortable symptoms should disappear.

Dr. Barry specializes in physical therapy for TMJ. By learning specific jaw exercises and relaxation techniques, you can often resolve TMJ pain and inflammation.

You may also be a candidate for splint therapy. A TMJ splint is a dental device that fits over your teeth, much like a retainer. It works by keeping your teeth slightly apart, which minimizes pressure on your jaw joints and muscles.

Your splint is custom made for you after Dr. Barry takes an impression of your teeth. He lets you know when you should wear it — only at night versus all day — and how long you should expect to use it.

When should I see a doctor about TMJ?

While occasional soreness or tenderness in your jaw is probably nothing to worry about, you should still have it checked out during your next dental exam.

Make an appointment with Dr. Barry right away if you’re having difficulty opening or closing your mouth, or if you're in chronic pain. In severe cases or if left untreated, you may need surgery to correct TMJ disorders.

Get started with TMJ relief today by calling the office of Daniel D. Barry III, DDS, in San Francisco. You can also book an appointment online.