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Drs. Sheldon Sullivan and Shawn Monahan know that maintaining good oral health is about more than just taking care of your teeth and gums. It also extends to other aspects of your mouth, including the temporomandibular joints that hinge your lower jaw to the rest of your head. When inflammation, muscle tension, arthritis or other complications cause pain and discomfort in this area, it is often known as TMJ disorder.

In many cases, these issues can result from grinding your teeth at night on a regular basis. The tension placed on muscles, ligaments and joints can lead to chronic inflammation and muscle soreness. However, you might find significant relief from sleeping with a custom night guard. The soft, durable plastic material allows teeth to slip easily while also providing some cushioning.

TMJ disorder can also be related to a past dislocation in one or both of the joints. The temporomandibular joints are actually very sophisticated as they work in concert with other muscles, ligaments and a cartilaginous disk that allows the joints to slip, grind and open your mouth. If any of these components became misaligned by the dislocation, it could cause chronic inflammation problems.

Early symptoms of TMJ disorder include a pain in the jaw or in front of the ears as well as pain when opening and closing your mouth. A clicking noise in the temporomandibular joint is not always a symptom that indicates TMJ disorder, but it can often be related.

If you’ve experienced symptoms of TMJ disorder in Gilbert, Arizona, we invite you to call our dentists, Drs. Sheldon Sullivan and Shawn Monahan, at 480-374-5562 for diagnosis and treatment. Our Artistry in Dentistry team is happy to help you!