TMJ Disorders

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Dr. Weierbach or Dr. Genetti can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.

Trouble With Your Jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the cushion of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

The more times you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.


There are various treatment options that Drs. Weierbach or Genetti can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Drs. Weierbach or Genetti will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care joined with professional care.

The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasm and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:

  • Resting your jaw
  • Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
  • Eating soft foods
  • Applying ice and heat
  • Exercising your jaw
  • Practicing good posture

Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night and helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relieves pressure on parts of your jaw, and aids in disk repositioning. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 8-10 hours/day or just at night to move your jaw into the proper position. Appliances also help to protect from tooth wear.

What About Bite Correction or Surgery?

If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together, you may need treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Surgical options such as arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring are sometimes needed but are reserved for severe cases. Drs. Weierbach or Genetti does not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and nonreducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.

Weierbach & Genetti Prosthodontics

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Patient Review

Thank you, thank you, thank you DR WEIERBACH !! You are the best at what you do. Thank you to him and his team I can now smile with confidence! I went in to his office with panic towards dentist because of what happened to my mom. I was terrified. Thankfully my daughter found him and I have zero regrets. He transformed my mouth! I got implants and veneers. He explained everything in detail and cost of procedure. Everything was clear from start to finish. I couldn’t be happier with my results. I can’t wait to show my family in Puerto Rico !! Thank you again Dr Weierbach !! I recommend 100000% !!

- Marisol M

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Patient Review

Was nervous about TMJ treatment working for a lifelong tooth clencher. Within one to two days, I noticed my teeth were separated at rest. I do not remember my teeth at least touching or clenching all the time. I noticed my face seemed to loosen and jaw drop slightly. The most surprising thing was my shoulders dropped slightly. It has been a month, and everything is the same. I am so very grateful. Thank you to Dr. Genetti and this great staff.

- Sonja F

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I had a terrible overbite and ground my teeth. My regular dentist of many years told me that my teeth would eventually break and he said "I have no idea how they will fix this." Well, they started to break and he referred me to Dr. Weirbach. Over a three year period, during COVID, I had several extractions, several implants and crowns on all my teeth to correct my bite. He is very meticulous and talented. He and his staff (both professional and office) are extremely caring and helpful. I am so looking forward to eating corn on the cob this summer, for the first time in 3 years!

- Doug G

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Dr Weierbach is truly exceptional! From the moment I entered the doors to the office, I felt welcomed, cared for and completely at ease. He has helped me so much with everything I’ve been through. He takes his time with me and listens to my concerns. Dr Weierbach is a kind, compassionate and brilliant doctor. I also, cannot say enough about his entire wonderful and friendly staff! They are all an amazing group of people! I am extremely grateful for all of you! Thank You!!

- Melissa R

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I accompanied my father to his visits throughout the course of his dental implant journey. Dr. Weierbach took great care to explain all of our available options and how each process would work. Ultimately, we chose fixed implants and are incredibly happy with that decision. The staff was amazing and really took the time to make us feel comfortable and informed along the way. From check-in to check-out, the team at Weierbach & Genetti made it a personal experience and my father never felt like “just another patient.” Most importantly, the implants turned out great! I highly recommend Dr. Weierbach and team for dental implant needs.

- Amanda C

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