TMJ Treatment in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, & Utah

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders) often manifest as pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles controlling jaw movement. Effective treatment options are available across Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah to help alleviate these symptoms and improve jaw function. Here at Ortho Inc. we provide TMJ treatments tailored to the unique needs of our patients.

Understanding TMJ Disorders

What Are TMJ Disorders?

TMJ disorders affect the temporomandibular joint, a crucial hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. This joint allows you to talk, chew, and yawn. Disorders in this joint can lead to pain and restricted movement.

Causes and Symptoms

Common causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • Jaw injury
  • Excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  • Arthritis in the joint
  • Stress that leads to tightening of jaw muscles

Symptoms often experienced by those with TMJ disorders include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw
  • Aching pain in and around your ear
  • Difficulty chewing or discomfort while chewing
  • Aching facial pain
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close the mouth

Diagnosis of TMJ Disorders

Diagnosing TMJ disorders typically involves:

  1. Medical History Review: The dental professional will discuss your health history and any prior injuries or habits that could affect TMJ.
  2. Physical Examination: This includes checking the areas around the jaw for pain or tenderness, listening for clicks or pops when moving the jaw, and testing the bite to assess for misalignment.
  3. Imaging Tests: Depending on the examination, your doctor may order X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan to see the bones and soft tissues of the jaw and its alignment.

Technologies and Methods for Diagnosis

Professionals use advanced imaging technologies to ensure precise diagnosis of TMJ disorders. These may include:

  • Digital X-rays: Provide detailed images of the teeth and jaw bone.
  • MRI Scans: Offer a view of the soft tissues and disc placement in the TMJ.
  • CT Scans: Give a comprehensive 3D image of the skull and jaw.

These diagnostic tools help healthcare providers in the Southwest deliver targeted and effective treatment plans for TMJ disorders.

Treatment Options for TMJ


To manage pain and inflammation associated with TMJ disorders, doctors commonly prescribe:

  • Anti-inflammatories: Such as ibuprofen or aspirin, to reduce joint swelling and pain.
  • Muscle Relaxants: These can help alleviate muscle spasms in the jaw.
  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter or prescription options may be recommended for severe discomfort.


Physical therapies and exercises are crucial in managing TMJ symptoms, including:

  • Physical Therapy: Techniques such as ultrasound, moist heat, and ice can relieve pain and improve movement.
  • Jaw Exercises: Specific movements designed to strengthen jaw muscles and improve flexibility.
  • Counseling: Education and advice on behaviors that might aggravate TMJ pain, like teeth grinding or jaw clenching.

Occlusal Appliances

Often referred to as night guards, these custom-made devices fit over the teeth. They help by:

  • Preventing Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching: These behaviors are common triggers for TMJ disorders and can worsen symptoms.
  • Aligning the Jaw: Proper alignment can reduce stress on the TMJ and alleviate discomfort.

Surgical Options

Surgery is considered when other treatments do not relieve pain, and TMJ symptoms persist. Types of surgery include:

  • Arthrocentesis: A minimally invasive procedure that involves the insertion of needles into the joint to irrigate fluid.
  • TMJ Arthroscopy: A less invasive than open-joint surgery that uses small instruments and a camera.
  • Open-Joint Surgery: Necessary for severe cases where the joint itself needs repairs or reconstruction.

TMJ Treatments Near You

Don’t let TMJ pain hold you back from enjoying life in the beautiful Southwest. Whether you’re dealing with the stresses of daily life or the physical demands of active outdoor pursuits, our TMJ specialists are here to help. Schedule a consultation today to explore your treatment options and start your journey toward relief. Visit our Contact Page or call us directly to book an appointment. Let us help you achieve lasting comfort and improved jaw function.

Choosing the Right TMJ Specialist

Selecting an experienced TMJ specialist is crucial to effectively manage and treat TMJ disorders. The right specialist can offer a tailored treatment plan that significantly improves your quality of life.

A TMJ specialist with a deep understanding of jaw disorders will have the necessary skills to accurately diagnose and treat TMJ issues. Their experience ensures that they can offer the most effective treatments, which might include specialized therapies not available from general practitioners.

Criteria for Choosing a TMJ Specialist

When looking for a TMJ specialist in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, or Utah, consider the following factors:

  • Credentials and Training: Ensure the specialist has specific training in treating TMJ disorders. This may include advanced dental or medical degrees with additional certifications in neuromuscular dentistry or oral surgery.
  • Treatment Approach: Look for a specialist who uses a comprehensive approach to treatment, combining medication, physical therapy, and possibly surgery. Their approach should align with your preferences and medical needs.
  • Patient Reviews and Testimonials: Check reviews or testimonials from other patients. Positive feedback can indicate a trustworthy and effective specialist.
  • Accessibility and Location: Consider their office location and availability. Choosing a specialist nearby can make frequent visits more convenient, especially if ongoing treatment is needed.
  • Insurance and Cost: Verify that the specialist accepts your insurance or offers a transparent cost structure for treatments not covered by insurance. This can alleviate financial stress associated with treatment.

Choosing the right TMJ specialist is a significant step toward managing your TMJ symptoms effectively. Take the time to research and select a provider who meets your specific needs and can offer the highest standard of care.