Dr. Jason Petkevis is a restorative dentist in Chester Springs. He specializes in providing restorative treatment for TMJ disorders, and many other advanced conditions. Few clinicians are trained to properly identify, diagnose and treat TMD. Dr. Petkevis has devoted a significant portion of his post-graduate training towards bite problems and TMJ related issues.

About TMJ Disorders

TMJ is short for Temporomandibular Joint, the joint that connects the upper and lower jaw and is responsible for opening and closing your mouth. TMJ disorder is a catch all term for a wide variety of potential issues affecting the jaw joint, muscles in the face, neck, and surrounding nerves.

Common Causes of TMJ Disorder

There is no single cause for TMJ dysfunction. Any number of factors or combination of factors may be to blame including:

  • Trauma to the head, neck, or face
  • Trauma to the TMJ joint or arthritis
  • Hormonal changes or imbalances
  • Malocclusion (where the jaws do not line up correctly resulting in bite problems)
  • Stress

Common TMJ Symptoms

As with the causes, symptoms of TMJ disorder vary greatly between patients. TMJ symptoms often mask themselves or are similar to those of other medical conditions, making diagnosis extremely difficult.

Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Headaches
  • Shoulder, neck, facial pain
  • Clicking or popping when opening or closing jaw
  • Locked jaw or limited mobility in the jaw joint
  • Teeth clenching, teeth grinding, often accompanied by tooth wear
  • Chronic earaches

Objective of TMJ Treatment

Our goal is to treat TMJ by gently and naturally bringing the head, neck, jaw and bite into proper alignment.

Dr. Petkevis will start with a comprehensive evaluation to look for the signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. Using advanced diagnostic equipment, Dr. Petkevis will determine the source of instability and create a customized treatment plan to bring the teeth and bite into proper alignment.

TMJ Mouthguard

A TMJ mouthguard is a removable oral appliance that helps keep your teeth and jaw in proper position. Usually worn during sleep, and oral appliance may also prevent teeth grinding or clenching. These symptoms can lead to tooth wear, and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. We are well equipped to address all symptoms and effects of this disorder.

TMJ treatment through splints, mouthguards and night guards can help to alleviate the most common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction and prevent damage to the teeth and gums.

Bite Correction Procedures

Occlusal equilibration, better known as bite correction or TMJ correction, is the process of adjusting the alignment of the teeth for optimal fit. The teeth should line up so that they make even contact with one another, creating a low-stress bite.

Over 95% of TMJ dysfunction (TMD) and TMJ pain are caused by an improper occlusion. Bite correction can help to alleviate the symptoms of TMD such as sore jaw, headaches, teeth clenching, and more.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

Is a TMJ mouthguard the same as a sports mouthguard?

No. There are many different types of mouthguards for different types of dental issues. Do not use your sports mouthguard for TMJ issues as this can damage your oral device fairly quickly. TMJ guards can withstand constant teeth grinding without damage, whereas a sports mouthguard can only withstand big hits to the mouth, not constant grinding.

Can I treat TMJ at home? 

You can take steps to alleviate symptoms at home, and hope that your TMJ disorder issues go away. Although, most patients with TMJ issues benefit from a professional diagnosis and treatment. Patients with moderate to severe TMJ symptoms will need medical intervention.

Can sleeping on your stomach cause TMJ?

Sleeping on your stomach and side can cause your TMJ symptoms to get worse. It can actually void the progress of any treatments you have undergone to manage your disorder. The best sleeping position is facing up and sleeping on your back.

Request a TMJ Disorder Evaluation

Do you have questions about TMJ and how your dentist in Chester Springs, PA can help? Call Dental Distinction today to find out more, or to schedule a TMJ evaluation today.