Young woman holding jaw in pain after eating an apple

TMJ Disorders

Problems affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can lead to jaw pain, lockjaw, and difficulty biting, chewing, and speaking.

Dr. David C. Henderson can review your symptoms and develop a custom treatment plan for your TMJ disorder.

Learn how our dental practice can help people throughout the Carthage, MS, Jackson, MS, and Philadelphia, MS, area...

What Is the TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that connects the mandible and the cranium. It is one of the most used joints of the body. 

When the bone, cartilage, muscles, or nerves around the TMJ do not function properly, this is known as a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

TMD Symptoms


  • Sore or tender jaw
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Lockjaw
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Earaches
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

TMD Risk Factors

Poor Dental Alignment

When teeth cannot find a comfortable resting position, they shift and clench during sleep.

Excessive Stress

Excessive stress is another factor in bruxism and TMD. People may grind their teeth while asleep or awake if there is no other outlet for their stress.


TMD symptoms can affect people of all age groups. However, many TMD patients tend to be between the ages of 20 and 40.


While men can develop temporomandibular disorders, women are more likely to develop problems with their temporomandibular joints.

If you suffer from any TMJ symptoms and risk factors are present, it's important that you speak with a dentist about treatment.

Diagnosing a TMJ Disorder

Dentist examining patient's mouth

Seeing a dentist will allow you to discuss TMD symptoms and get the care you need. During a dental exam at our Carthage, MS, practice, we will take x-rays of your temporomandibular joint. We can also discuss your general health and medical history. After assessing your situation, we can determine the ideal dentistry procedures to treat your jaw issues.

Night Guard for TMJ Treatment for Teeth Grinding

For many patients, the first and most conservative treatment option is the use of a night guard. This is ideal for people who grind their teeth at night, which contributes to problems with their TMJ.

How Does a Night Guard Work?

Also known as a splint or bite guard, a night guard is a mouthpiece that the patient wears at night. The night guard prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching. When the patient grinds their teeth, the pressure on the jaw is relieved.

Keep in mind that a night guard may only be the first step in addressing temporomandibular joint issues. If your symptoms are relieved, additional dental procedures will not be necessary. If you still experience TMJ symptoms after wearing your night guard, we can reassess the issue so we can properly provide relief to your jaw.

Person holding nightguard

Treatments for Bruxism


Treating bruxism typically involves orthodontic care such as Invisalign®. Stress relief and relaxation techniques may also play a role in remedying this problem. Dentists need to tailor treatment options to the patient, which is why it's important to visit our practice in Carthage, MS, for a consultation.

Advanced TMD Treatments

Close-up of woman's white teeth

When Is Advanced Care Needed?

More invasive procedures for TMJ disorders are necessary when a night guard is ineffective or the issues that are present are too complicated to be addressed with more conservative therapies. This may include a full mouth reconstruction, trigger point injections, and even surgery.

Tailored to the Patient

As we individualize treatment options to your needs, we can also answer any questions you may have about the process.

"I would recommend Dr. Henderson’s practice to anyone! I have been going here since I was a little girl and now I have all three of my children going. I recently took my two year old for her first dentist appointment and she loved it and can’t wait to go back! The staff here are wonderful, very helpful, and make you feel like family as soon as you walk through the door." Haley Johnson, 5-Star Review
Team at David C. Henderson, D.M.D.

David C. Henderson, D.M.D. General Dentistry PA

Dr. David C. Henderson and Dr. Laura Katherine Henderson Jones have the advanced training and tools needed to bring state-of-the-art dental care to patients in Jackson, Philadelphia, Carthage, and nearby communities. They are members of trusted dental organizations, including: 

  • American Dental Association
  • Mississippi Dental Association
  • American Orthodontic Society

To schedule a consultation at our family-friendly dental office, request your appointment online or call us at (601) 267-5624.

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Carthage Office

113 North Pearl St
Carthage, MS 39051

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