TMJ Disorder & Therapy | Newport Beach, CA

TMJ disorder is a condition that can be very tricky. Many people are affected with dysfunctional jaw joints without their knowledge. If your jaw muscles tend to feel tired all the time, or your jaw pops or clicks when you open and close your mouth, it is possible that you have TMJ disorder.

Are You at Risk of TMJ Disorder?

  1. Do you have difficulty chewing gum without discomfort?
  2. Does your jaw click, pop, or hurt sometimes?
  3. Is it ever difficult to move your jaw?
  4. Do you have difficulty eating chewy or hard foods?
  5. Are your teeth becoming overly crowded, or spaced farther apart?
  6. Have your teeth changed at all in recent years (become shorter, thinner, more worn)?
  7. Do your teeth easily meet up when you bite down, or must you strain?
  8. Do you grind or clench your teeth?
  9. Do your teeth ache when you wake up in the morning (a sign of nighttime clenching)?
  10. Do you, or have you, worn a bite appliance?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is “yes”, we encourage you to contact our Newport Beach office for your consultation with experienced dentist, Dr. Spath.

  • I recommend Dr. Spath. He is very organized, confident, and explains exactly what he is going to do. He did a very thorough examination of my teeth, both with x-rays and observation. He told me the results of his findings, made recommendations and asked questions of my expectations. Dr. Spath replaced a front bridge, added a crown for cosmetic reasons, cleaned my teeth and made them whiter than they have ever been. He is very conscientious, caring and very professional. I am very pleased with the work he has completed for me.




TMJs are the joints located at the back of each side of the jaw. It is these joints, the Temporomandibular joints, that facilitate the various movements the jaw makes. As a result of misalignment, trauma, or another problem, these joints may become unduly stressed to a point where dysfunction occurs (TMD). In many cases, the solution to resolving TMJ is very simple. If the condition is untreated, however, teeth may become excessively worn and chronic pain may develop.

In addition to trauma or misalignment, TMD may be caused by:

  • Bruxism (tooth grinding or clenching)
  • Degenerative disease
  • Improper movement of the jaw when speaking or chewing
  • Repetitively biting or chewing hard objects or foods



  • The formation of new gaps in between teeth
  • Shift in bite
  • Soreness or stiffness in jaw muscles
  • Generalized facial pain
  • Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
  • Chronic headaches
  • Fractures or chips in teeth
  • Overcrowding of teeth
  • Limited jaw mobility
  • Grating, popping, or clicking sounds when the jaw moves

Warning Signs

that TMJ Disorder has Developed

Excessive Wear

If the bite is not properly aligned, or if tooth grinding is a habit, teeth may become worn down. Excessive wear can be treated with an oral appliance such as a night guard. However, the important point is to treat the occlusion from which problems stem.

Jaw / Bite Problems

Ideally, our bite should remain pretty stable throughout our lifetime, changing only slightly, if at all. In order for the bite to work as it should, the various oral structures, such as the jaw bone, muscles, joints, and tendons must work synergistically and harmoniously. Due to the varying symptoms of TMJ disorder, problems may persist for years before they are recognized and properly treated.

Loose Teeth

In the absence of gum disease or some other disease, teeth should remain stable and upright. Teeth may, however, become loose if skeletal problems exist, preventing teeth from fitting together as they should. Correction is important to prevent tooth loss.

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