What Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder(TMD)?

The temporomandibular joint is the connection point between your jaw and your skull. The clues are in the name — tempor for the temporal bone and mandibular for the mandible. The connection point is in front of your ear, and you can feel it if you place your hand in front of your ear and open and close your jaw. The joint we’re talking about is the one that allows for that movement. 

When there’s a disorder, that means there’s some issue with that joint that’s causing pain or other health problems. 

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Symptoms of TMD

The terms TMD and TMJ are often used interchangeably — don’t let the language confuse you. 

When there’s a problem with the temporomandibular joint, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including: 

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Neck pain
  • Ringing in your ears or popping sounds in your jaw

Because of the wide range of possible symptoms, TMD is difficult to self-diagnose. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, or if something just doesn’t feel right, call our office so we can examine you and diagnose the problem.

Benefits of TMD/TMJ treatment

Whether symptoms are mild or severe, they can impact your health and wellbeing. Like all health problems, TMD shouldn’t be ignored. TMJ treatment can begin addressing your symptoms right away, providing headache relief and a reduction in overall pain. 

At Mid-Peninsula Dental Specialists, our doctors understand the unique anatomy and physiology of the mouth and jaw. We can walk you through the diagnostics tests so that you understand what’s causing your symptoms — leaving you fully informed to make decisions about the right treatment options for you.

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Treatments for TMJ disorder

At Mid-Peninsula Dental Specialists, we can create a custom-made bite splint for your TMJ treatment that will help correct the problem and reduce symptoms such as jaw pain. 

A bite splint fits over one arch of your teeth and prevents your top and bottom teeth from touching. This can help adjust the position of your jaw, as well as reduce jaw clenching or tooth grinding, which can worsen the symptoms of TMD.

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Our Happy Patients

Dr Phan and Dental Assistant Jane were really Pros from start to finish. Jane was absolutely hilarious and very attentive, while also totally professional. Her and Dr. Phan made a great team and were able to solve my complicated wisdom tooth situation and always kept me informed of every risk before proceeding. Thank you!

Michael B.

Dr Beckstead is amazing. I had partial bone loss around one of my teeth and three dentists think that I won't be able to keep it, but Dr Beckstead performed one surgery and saved my tooth. It has been over two years since the surgery and I have not had any more issues with that tooth.

Lucy X.

I'm actually looking forward to my next prophylaxis. That's a teeth cleaning, and I never would have believed I'd say such a thing. I want to give a special shout out to Cindy, who did a fantastic job on my teeth AND gave me the tools and knowledge to nip gum disease in the bud. Have you ever heard of a Sulcabrush? I have one now, and it's awesome. Look it up.

David R.

Dr. Beckstead and his entire team are exceptional. They provided kind, informative and top-notch care every step of the way. My nerves were immediately calmed when I entered the office and I realized that I was in the caring and experienced care of true professionals. The procedure was flawless, the outcome was terrific and the entire process was pain-free (in every way!).

Tina R.

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Call (650) 941-7300 to schedule your appointment.



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Fri: 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Sat-Sun: Closed


20 First Street, Suite 200, Los Altos, CA 94022

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