TMJ or TMD – what is the difference? Well, if you want to get technical, TMJ is the “temporomandibular joint.” TMD, or “temporomandibular disorder,” is the disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint. Most dentists simply refer to the both as “TMD.” Now, to get more specific, the temporomandibular joint is what connects your jaw and your skull’s temporal joints. When they’re not in alignment, the result can be anything from mild discomfort to debilitating pain.

Occasionally, TMD can be temporary, and it will just go away without needing any treatment. Other times, it can go on forever if left untreated. Usually, TMJ occurs in people around the age of 40, but it is not unheard of in people who are younger or older. Additionally, statistics show that women seem to be affected by TMD more often than men.

Symptoms and Causes

The first symptom of TMD is pain in the jaw, head, or neck. It can also manifest as headaches, or even just a feeling of overwhelming fatigue. Often, it is caused by grinding or clenching your teeth. Other symptoms can include locking jaws, difficulty opening your mouth, ringing in your ears, facial swelling, dizziness, toothaches, or a clicking or grating feeling in your jaw. Because the symptoms are so many and varied, and because so many of the symptoms can also indicate other conditions, TMD can be difficult to diagnose.

Getting a Diagnosis

When you visit your dentist to have a TMD assessment, he or she will first check out your joints to see if there is any pain or tenderness and will also listen for sounds like clicking and grating that could indicate a problem in the muscular structure. You may also need X-rays or an MRI if the condition is not easily diagnosed. The main thing is to get a proper diagnosis so that a course of treatment can be recommended.


Depending on what is causing your TMD, and also depending on the severity, treatments will vary. It could be as simple as fitting you with a mouth guard that would stop you from grinding your teeth at night. If your bite is irregular, you might be a candidate for bridgework or crowns. In some instances, surgery could be the only effective treatment, but such situations are relatively rare.

Contact Us

If you believe that you have symptoms of TMD, we urge you to contact Old Milton Dental in Alpharetta to discuss a course of treatment. You can reach us at 678-624-0370. Alternatively, you can request an appointment by using the form on our Contact Us page. We will be pleased to meet with you and talk about your condition. If you are suffering from TMD, we can prescribe a course of treatment.

– What Clients Say About Old Milton Dental –

  • I absolutely love the service I receive from Old Milton Dental. Everyone is super friendly and takes their time to help you however they can. Dr. Katie and her team is amazing. So amazing that I travel from Lawrenceville to Alpharetta just to continue dental care here. I would totally recommend their affordable services!

    S. Edwards
  • Wonderful staff. They are all very friendly and caring people. The dentist and hygienists are very comfortable to talk to and make you feel less like a patient and more like a friend. I stick with them even though I am out of network. I would recommend Old Milton Dental to anyone in the area.

    Paveena Ghatpande
  • Everyone here is always so nice, professional, accommodating, and really genuinely care about their patients. They even offer me a warm blanket during procedures! Wonderful practice all around - I would highly recommend the whole team at Old Milton Dental.

    Sharon Seiter
  • We've been coming to Old Milton Dental for years. Dr. Mazer does excellent work, the staff is all top notch, and the office is very high tech. Wouldn't go any where else!

    Karen Naide
  • My family and I have been going to Old Milton Dental for 11 years. A few years ago they became out of Network with our insurance carrier and we thought no big deal, we'll just go to a dentist in Network. Well that was the bigest mistake, The level of care at the in Network dentist did not compare. We immediately went back to Old Milton Dental. They are still out of Network but we choose to have good service and an honest reputable dentist.

    Cynthia A. Swahn
  • I came to this practice as I was told of Dr. Reid being a great dentist. This was more than true as she was informative and was great at answering questions

    Mike Meyer