TMJ Disorders

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint and the associated muscles and connective tissues. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No single treatment can resolve TMJ and myofascial disorders completely and treatment takes time to be effective. Dr. Kienle, Dr. Steinkeler and Dr. Gunawardena can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.

Trouble with Your Jaw

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. They are often caused by misaligned teeth and missing teeth causing poor jaw support when biting. They can be caused after a traumatic event to the face or jaws. Medical conditions can cause or worsen TMJ and myofascial pain conditions. Sometimes there is no identifiable cause. Whatever the cause, the symptoms may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking or grating noises when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Are You Ready to Find the Relief You Deserve?

Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment today!

Call us: 215-672-6560

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

The more times you answered “yes,” the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.


There are various treatment options that Drs. Kienle, Steinkeler and Gunawardena utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Drs. Kienle, Steinkeler and Gunawardena will determine the proper course of treatment.

Please remember all of the procedures described here are surgical procedures. These surgical procedures are best performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only dental specialists who are fully trained in all of these surgical procedures. Drs. Kienle, Steinkeler and Gunawardena are all fully trained and experienced in these surgical procedures. All doctors in our practice are Board Certified in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and in Anesthesia and have also earned both a Medical and a Dental degree.

Drs. Kienle, Steinkeler and Gunawardena have the only practice in the Delaware Valley/Tri-State area where all of the surgeons have both their Medical and Dental degrees and are Board Certified in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Anesthesia, and in which all of our surgical facilities are Fully Accredited by the Joint Commission. You can be assured that Drs. Kienle, Steinkeler and Gunawardena have the best training and experience, along with the proper staff and facilities, to provide you with exceptional safety, and comfortable surgical care.

TMJ Disorder FAQs

Can TMJ make your face swell?

Facial swelling is not a typical complaint or finding with TMJ disease. There are many causes of facial swelling, however, so this should be evaluated if you are experiencing this.

Does a TMJ disorder go away?

TMJ disorders will often wax and wane over time. Depending on the cause and the patient’s exam there are often ways to help reduce the symptoms and provide relief.

What is the main cause of TMJ?

There are many causes and the most common cause is often unknown or has no particular reason. The next most common is a bad bite from either poor tooth position or from missing teeth that were not replaced. It can also be from trauma, medical conditions, or habits such as gum chewing.

Is TMJ serious?

Most patients with TMJ disorders are able to manage it without major complications. It is very important, however, to have regular evaluations by a doctor to monitor and provide treatment as needed.

What can be mistaken for TMJ?

The most common problems thought to be TMJ disorders are myofascial (muscle) pain disorders. Less commonly are ear or neurologic disorders. There is significant overlap which is why it’s important to be seen by a doctor.

Are You Ready to Find the Relief You Deserve?

Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment today!

Call us: 215-672-6560