TMJ Quiz from Des Moines Dentist

ClenchIf you have TMJ discomfort, you are well aware of how distracting it can be to a normal quality-of-life. Even if you have no jaw issues, you should be conscious of the fact that they can crop up at any moment. Des Moines dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds, helps patients with TMJ dysfunctions all the time. He would like to challenge you to a quiz on the topic.


Q1. True or false – You would not be able to speak properly without your TMJs.

Q2. True or false – TMJ is the name of a condition wherein your jaw joints are inflamed, irritated, and/or misaligned.

Q3. True or false – TMJ issues and teeth grinding can be related.


A1. TRUE – Try talking with your jaw completely clenched or completely open. No matter what position, if your jaw is fixed and has no movement, how can you hope to form the variety of sounds to make up the many words in any given language? Your teeth are also essential for biting, chewing, and yawning.

A2. FALSE – Your temporomandibular joints are also known as TMJs. People tend to call the condition where these joints are not in good health (and therefore cause intermittent or chronic discomfort) simply “TMJ.” So if you refer to your jaw issues as such, your Des Moines dentist will likely know what you mean. If you want to be clinically correct, however, you can term TMJ inflammation as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).

A3. TRUE – Habitual teeth grinding (bruxism) can be either a cause or effect of TMJ disorder. Involuntary muscle spasms can result from jaw issues and lead you to unconscious clenching. However, if the grinding comes before TMD, it can be a contributor to the damage in your TMJs. Even if teeth grinding is your only issue, it should be attended to. Long term bruxism can cause wear, cracks, or broken teeth and a need for extensive dental work.

Des Moines Dentist Can Help Treat Your TMJ Disorder

To learn more about TMD and its negative influence on your mouth’s proper function, schedule a consultation with your 50309 dental office by calling your Des Moines dentist at (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.