TMJ Specialist

Desert Ridge Orthodontics

Orthodontics located in Phoenix, AZ

Have you been waking up with a sore jaw in the morning? This might be a symptom of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. At Desert Ridge Orthodontics, Dr. Michael Papademetriou and Dr. Catherine Smith are committed to providing men and women living in or around Phoenix comprehensive treatment options to fight back against a condition that affects close to 10 million Americans every year. Call or go online today to book an appointment and find out more about your treatment options.


What are temporomandibular joints?

Located at the base of the skull, the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are in the front of the ears on both sides of your face. These joints connect the lower and upper jaws and are instrumental in allowing your mouth to open and close.

For instance, the temporomandibular joints enable you to eat, yawn, and speak. If you’re suffering from TMJ disorder, these muscles are impacted.

What are the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)?

Diagnosing TMD his a tricky process because many of its symptoms can also be signs of other medical conditions. In most cases, however, people affected by TMD often hear their jaw pop when they close or open their mouths. Other common symptoms include:  

  • Limited range of jaw motion
  • Facial, jaw, or ear pain
  • Tender jaw muscles
  • Pain and pressure behind the eyes
  • Headaches/earaches
  • Swelling

While some of these symptoms might point to something other than TMD, it’s essential that you schedule an appointment at Desert Ridge Orthodontics to rule out TMD.

How do you treat temporomandibular joint disorder?

Dr. Papademetriou and Dr. Smith can suggest a series of treatments that can significantly reduce your exposure to dangerous side effects and cure or improve your symptoms.

Your practitioner at Desert Ridge Orthodontics can teach you a series of relaxation techniques to help you control the muscle the tension in your jaw. You might also consider wearing a splint while you sleep to remedy pain and tenderness upon waking. This will limit the amount of clenching and tooth-grinding you might do during your sleep. Dr. Smith and Dr. Papademetriou can create customized splints depending on your needs. Cases that are severe may be referred to a different specialist.

Other than that, the team at Desert Ridge Orthodontics recommends that you avoid the following:

  • Grinding your teeth
  • Chewing gum
  • Resting your hands on your chin while sitting
  • Giving into improper posture

It takes discipline to treat TMD. Book an appointment at Desert Ridge Orthodontics in Phoenix by phone or online to learn more about the best treatment practices.