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Timothy E. Smith, DDS • Kyle D. Kolquist, DDS • Erin K. Renier, DDS
1630 Kenwood Avenue Duluth, MN 55811
Phone: 218-728-4288 • Fax: (218) 724-8624 •

Our Services and Technologies

Preventative Dentistry - TMJ Evaluations & Treatment

What is TMJ?

TMJ actually refers to the temporomandibular joints. These joints, located on either side of the head, work together with the jaw bone, ligaments, and muscles, making it possible for you to chew, swallow, and speak. Problems arise when this complex system is inhibited from functioning properly. This decrease in function could lead to TMD or temporomandibular disorder, this is characterized by pain in and around the ears, jaw tenderness, clicking or popping noises upon opening, headaches and muscle tenderness.

What causes TMD?

It is always important to get a thorough examination from your dentist. TMD could result from dislocation, injury to the jaw, neck, or head, and even from arthritis. The problem could also stem from the way the upper and lower jaws fit together (your bite). Grinding your teeth at night or clenching them during the day is often factors as well.

What can I do if I'm experiencing symptoms of TMD?

If you are experiencing jaw pain, headaches, or other symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith or Dr. Kolquist. They will work with you to identify the source of your pain and the best way to correct it. A splint for use at night is often recommended. If a splint is recommended, your dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth as well as a record of how you bite. From these, a splint is made that specifically fits your mouth. The dentist will then adjust the splint until it functions ideally, relieving joint pain and reducing night-time grinding.

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