Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction

tjm dentist

Sometimes the problem that brings a patient to a Waco dental office has little to do with his teeth. He may have frequent toothaches, particularly from his molars, and pain in his jaw but no evidence of tooth decay. It may be the jaw joint or its associated muscles causing the discomfort. Further investigation of this pain should be done by a TMJ dentist in Waco in Waco.

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. It is the joint that connects your lower jaw or mandible to your temporal bone, which forms the side of the skull. It is a hinge and gliding joint that allows your mouth to open and close. You have two, one on each side of your head. It is located just in front of your ear.

A number of tendons and ligaments connect to this joint and the surrounding muscles of your head, face and neck. The complex network stretches around your skull, down your neck and across the shoulders. There is also a small disc of cartilage that cushions the ball of the mandible and keeps it from grinding against the temporal bone. Pain, popping and locking can occur when this disc slips out of place.


The signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction or disorder, called TMD, sometimes appear to be a dental problem. Patients often complain of toothaches in their lower jaw but they may also have headaches or neck pain. All of these symptoms can be signs of trouble in the joint.

Here are a few more symptoms that may point to TMJ dysfunction.

• Popping, clicking or grinding noises in the jaw.
• Tenderness, tightness or pain in the facial muscles.
• Dull ache in the facial muscles, head, neck and even shoulders.
• Locking of the jaw in the open or closed position.
• Earaches.
• Swelling in the cheeks or face.
• Difficulty in operating the lower jaw (eating, talking, yawning, etc.).

Pain is the primary symptom that brings patients to a TMJ dentist in Waco. The pain can be very sharp or dull and achy. It may only occur during chewing or yawning or it can be a more persistent pain.

Diagnosis and Tests

Diagnosing a disorder or dysfunction of this joint may not be easy. Some patients continue to seek help for what they believe is a toothache when the real problem lies elsewhere. A dentist specializing in these issues can give the patient a better understanding of the underlying cause of the pain and a better course of treatment to relieve it.

In order to diagnose the problem, your dentist will probably order some tests to identify where the issue lies. They are typically painless and non-invasive, which patients certainly appreciate. Here are a few of the diagnostic tools your dentist may utilize.

• X-rays. He may order standard or panoramic x-rays to view the position of the bones.
• CT scans. A CT or “cat” scan (computer tomography) will show the bony portion of the joint in better detail.
• MRI. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan will show both the bone and the soft tissues, like the cartilage disc, muscles and tendons.

Your dentist should be able to tell you more about where your pain is originating after these tests. He will then be able to prescribe a course of treatment or he may refer you to an oral surgeon. Understanding the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction is the first step towards healing.

Steven T. Cutbirth DDS
1613 Lake Success Drive
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 772-5420 ‎

Howdy! You, too, shall suffer my fate. Trust me. | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – Steve Snodgrass

Tips You Need Now to Maintain Your Roof

Any roof is constantly exposed to the driving rain, horrible hail, and scorching heat, and as a result, inspecting yours on a regular basis is an absolute must to keeping your home in good working order. Most experts recommend giving your roof an annual checkup to be on the safe side.

Not sure what to look for as you inspect your roof? The first thing you’ll want to do is grab a pair of binoculars, and find a safe location. Any place you see cracked caulk, rusted flashing, buckling shingles, blisters or curls in your shingles, or worn patches near your chimney, other pipes, or a skylight, you may have a problem on your hands. If you’re looking in the gutters and you happen to see colored grit from your shingles or roofing tiles, that could also be a real problem for you.

In addition to those rather obvious signs, you may also want to take a look at any areas where you see moss, mold, or lichen. While black algae stains are fairly common on roofs, any mass growing could mean that you have a spot of decay under there, and that may mean you need a roofing repair.

Notice any loose shingles? See one that’s damaged? Have one that’s missing completely? That’s an issue too. They need to be repaired immediately, as do any nails that seem to have popped up. If you have metal flashing on your roof and it’s around your chimney or your attic vent, make certain that it hasn’t separated from the roof itself. If it has, you need to grab a tube of caulk and reseal it or call your local roofing repair professional.”

Even if you carefully inspect your roof each year, you could still see leaks, so be on the lookout for those early warning signs you may have previously missed. If you see a dark spot on the ceiling or you happen to notice that the paint is peeling on the roof overhang, that could be a sign that you have a problem on your hands. Additionally, any damp spot you notice near your fireplace or water stains on your vent pipe that goes to your furnace could also be an issue.

Prevention could go a long way toward ensuring you don’t need roof repair. Pasadena, TX, experts will tell you that in the fall, if you have areas where leaves collect on your roof, it’s best to remove them. They have the ability to trap quite a bit of moisture, which leads to decomposition. That can mean that seeds literally take root on the roof of your home. You’ll also want to trim any overhanging branches to prevent rodents as well as leaves and moss from staying on your roof. Just make sure you don’t use any tools in the process that could harm your roof like a pressure washer, which may actually force water up under your roof.

Worried about inspecting your roof on your own? Talk to a company that specializes in roof repair in the Woodlands, TX, for a bit of help. Often they offer free or low cost inspections that could save you quite a bit in the long run.

Affordable Houston Roofing Solutions
5100 Westheimer # 200-A1
Houston, Texas 77056
Phone: (832) 730-2500

Do You Need New Windows?

If you have a little extra money to invest in your property, if you would like to spend your tax return wisely in 2013, or if you have just started to realize that your home is looking a little outdated, then you might be considering a professional window replacement project. You have likely heard about the energy efficiency and the financial benefits that can come with the installation of new windows, but do you really need them yet? Would there be a better way to spend your hard earned money?

It is a big upfront cost to consider as new windows are not cheap. Therefore, it is wise to seriously consider the windows that you already have to determine whether or not it is really time to put forth the cash to improve them. Austin window replacement specialists should not try to sell you on something that you don’t need. They should give an unbiased evaluation of the windows that you have in place, of their weaknesses and strengths and should provide information on what new windows would offer. Before you even call them in, however, consider the following tests to figure out how reliable your current windows are.

  • The Moisture Test Run a finger along the edges of your windows in the morning. Does the surface feel damp? Do you see moisture between the window panes? Is there mold growing on or around the frames. There are many signs of moisture problems and all should be treated with the utmost respect. Chipping or bubbling paint, for instance, can suggest that moisture is leaking in from the window and as that moisture builds up and sits on the on the wood and walls it can create very serious problems, including mold and rot. If there is a lot of moisture build up in, on, or around your windows, then you will definitely want to do something to correct the problem. That might mean new windows.
  • Counting Even a Kindergartener can help you with this test. All you have to do is count the panes of glass in your window frame. Is there a single pane or have two been fit into the frame with air between them? The air between two panes of glass acts as a source of insulation, stopping heat transfer that would otherwise occur between the indoors and out. How many panes do your windows have? If there is only one pane, then you definitely should consider new windows.
  • Candle Test This doesn’t actually depend on you having a candle, as the same results can be determined in several different ways. The old fashioned candle test involves a candle being set before a closed window. If the flame dances about or is blown out, then there is a serious draft issue and the windows are not doing what they should. Similarly, a piece of saran wrap taped to the window frame should not dance in the breeze when the window is closed and the curtains shouldn’t be blown around either. Some windows have such bad drafts that a person can hear the wind whistling through them.

If it is decided that you do need new windows, call a Killeen window replacement specialist, but be sure to approach contractors correctly. While most professionals in this industry are good, honest people, not all are. That being said, do not let them talk you into something that you don’t want, do not suggest that you are considering replacing all windows until they have given you an opinion on the condition of your existing windows. They should provide honest and intelligent analysis of the window(s) you mentioned and you should feel good about the answers they provide to any questions that you may have.