Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)

What is it?

The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull, allowing smooth movement of the jaw during activities such as talking, chewing and yawning. TMJ dysfunction refers to a variety of conditions that affect the proper functioning of the jaw joint and surrounding structures. Common causes of TMJ dysfunction include jaw misalignment, bite problems, muscle strain, trauma or arthritis.


TMJ dysfunction can manifest itself through a range of symptoms, including:

  1. Pain or tenderness in the jaw
  2. Clicking, popping or grinding sounds during jaw movement
  3. Limited jaw movement or jaw locking
  4. Ear pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  5. Headaches or migraines
  6. Facial pain or discomfort
  7. Neck and shoulder pain
  8. Difficulty chewing or discomfort when biting down
  9. Facial swelling


The treatment approach for TMJ dysfunction depends on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying causes. Some common treatment options include:

  1. Lifestyle modifications: Certain lifestyle modifications can help manage the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. These may include stress reduction techniques, jaw exercises, applying heat or moist cold packs to the affected area, and avoiding hard or chewy foods that overload the jaw joint.
  2. Occlusal drips: Occlusal drips, also known as bite guards or night guards, are custom-made oral appliances worn over the teeth to help relieve the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. Drops can provide cushioning and support to the jaw joint, protect teeth from grinding and promote correct jaw alignment.
  3. Arthrocentesis: Arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting small needles into the joint space to irrigate and flush the joint, removing debris and inflammatory substances. It can help reduce pain, inflammation and improve jaw movement.
  4. Botox injection: Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections can be used to temporarily relax the muscles around the jaw joint, reducing muscle spasms and relieving pain. Botox injections are particularly effective in patients with TMJ dysfunction caused by muscle tension or bruxism (teeth grinding).
  5. Open surgery of the TMJ: In severe cases where conservative treatments have not been successful, open TMJ surgery may be considered. This procedure involves making an incision to access the jaw joint, allowing repair or repositioning of the joint components. Open surgery is usually reserved for complex cases or structural abnormalities.

Our team and expertise

At Cunha Coutinho Saúde, we have a team of experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons, dentists and specialists who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ dysfunction. We offer a comprehensive approach to care, utilising advanced techniques and technologies to provide effective relief and long-term management of your TMJ symptoms.


We have agreements with several insurance companies and health plans to offer you the treatments you need at the most affordable prices.

Appointment Request

If you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ dysfunction, it is important to seek professional assessment and treatment. Our practice offers a range of treatment options tailored to your specific needs, including arthrocentesis, Botox injection, occlusal drops and open TMJ surgery. Contact us today to book an appointment and take the first step towards finding relief for your TMJ symptoms and improving your oral health and quality of life.

Booking an Appointment

At Clínica Cunha Coutinho, we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible care and ensuring that every appointment is a pleasant and positive experience. Fill in the form and take the first step towards a healthier and more beautiful smile.