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1002 10th St, Suite 1
Hood River, OR 97031-1564
(541) 386-2020

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As of January 1, 2014 we will be a PPO provider for DELTA Companies.


TMJ dysfunction is a term applied to problems in the opening and closing of the jaw, known as the temporomandibular joint. Dysfunction, or disorder, of this joint, can result in a variety of problems including slight discomfort to significant pain. Some symptoms may even seem unrelated, including facial pain and migraines. With the symptoms sometimes being sporadic and seemingly unrelated, diagnosing and treating jaw joint disruption can be complicated. Our staff at Bruce Burton, DMD, can help narrow the problems and create a treatment plan to improve your function.

Our jaw operates with a hinge-like joint muscle that connects the jaw to the skull. We use this joint constantly throughout the day; we use it when we breathe, talk and chew. If this muscle is disrupted, it can cause some problems. TMJ dysfunction can occur due to a variety of causes including:

A woman suffering from TMJ pain in Bremerton Washington
•  Traumatic Injury: A patient can have damage occur to their jaw joint from blunt force trauma. This can be something as simple as a fall, or from a car accident, or a violent act. Sometimes the damage may be clear, but other times the patient may think they are fine and not realize the injury that has occurred.
•  Malocclusion: A bad bite, known as a malocclusion, can cause the joint to fall out of alignment. Patients who suffer from a misaligned bite, including an overbite, an underbite, crossbite and more may need orthodontic care.
•  Bruxism: Bruxism is an unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth, most often while you sleep. The motion and movement of bruxism can cause inflammation or misalignment of the jaw joint.

Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction

The symptoms of TMJ dysfunction can vary between being obvious, and less obvious. Patients sometimes express a tired feeling in their jaw joint, or some may feel pain in their jaw joint. Some patients may find that it has become difficult or impossible to fully open or close their jaw. Some patients may feel a popping sensation or a clicking feeling or sound in their jaw. Some patients may experience symptoms that seem completely unrelated, including pain in your ear or cheekbone, it may even include pain in your eyebrow, headaches, and migraines.

How to Cure TMJ Dysfunction

Curing TMJ dysfunction in done through evaluation and diagnosis. We need to determine the source of the problem. Since the problem can be as a result of several varying disorders, we often need to tackle each issue until locating the source. This may include correcting a bad bite; some may require jaw surgery, or treating bruxism. There are steps and resources that can be used to help.

Temporary relief can sometimes be found in treating inflammation at the site. This may include over the counter medications to treat inflammation, applying ice packs, heat, massaging and more. Increasingly, dentists have been applying botox injections to relax the muscle, providing relief to the patient, and allowing the muscle some time to heal.  

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We have been serving patient's dentistry needs in the Columbia Gorge for over 30 years. Come and see us!

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Bruce Burton, DMD

1002 10th St, Suite 1
Hood River, OR 97031
(541) 386-2020
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Bruce Burton, DMD | | (541) 386-2020
1002 10th St, Suite 1, Hood River, OR 97031



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