ATTENTION PATIENTS: We at East Tennessee Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery consider our patients’ health and safety to be our number one priority. We will continue to treat patients using standard universal precautions for barrier protection as well as the CDC guidelines for office cleanliness. Our waiting room and patient restrooms are being cleaned and sanitized daily as well as all doorknobs and handles being sanitized hourly. All magazines have been discarded from our waiting rooms.

We do not take the recent findings regarding COVID-19 lightly and wanted to reassure you of our commitment to your overall safety and well-being while under our care. Patients are welcome to wait in their cars upon arrival, we just ask that you please call us when you have arrived  so that we may bring paperwork out for you to complete. We will call you when we are ready for you.

If you or anyone in your household has experienced recent cough, fever, or other symptom of illness we ask that you reschedule your appointment for a future date.

We do plan to stay open and to observe our normal business hours at this time. We are diligently monitoring this situation and current guidelines for care. We will notify you if any changes will be necessary. We look forward to seeing you for your appointment.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. It allows the lower jaw (mandible) to move and function. TMJ disorders have a variety of symptoms. Patients may complain of earaches, headaches and limited ability to open the mouth. They may also complain of clicking or grating sounds in the joint and feel pain when opening and closing the mouth.

What Causes TMJ Disorder Treatment?

One of the largest contributing factors in TMJ disease is habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth and jaws. It causes muscle pain, facial pain, headache and sometimes jaw joint pain. Arthritis is another cause of TMJ symptoms. It can result from an injury or age. A common cause involves displacement or dislocation of the joint disc that is located between the jawbone and the socket. A displaced disc may produce clicking or popping sounds, limit jaw movement and cause pain during opening and closing of the mouth. There are also conditions such as trauma or rheumatoid arthritis that can cause the parts of the TMJ to fuse, preventing jaw movement altogether.

Stress may also affect jaw function. Physical, emotional, and unresolved conflicts are forms of stress that may affect jaw function. There are other types of stress, but it is important to know that physical or emotional stress make jaw joint problems worse. Management and control of stress is often a very important part of successful treatment.