“TMJ” is an acronym for Temporomandibular Joint. It refers to the area where the lower jaw, the Mandible, hinges with the upper jaw, the Maxilla. It is also mistakenly referred to as a disease in the lay person’s terminology. It is merely the “jaw joint” and is akin to saying a wrist or knee or hip.


“TMD” is an acronym for Temporomandibular Disorder and is a general term used to describe a disorder of the jaw joint and/or structures compromising the entire joint complex. It is not just a simple disease. Many different ramifications and presentations of TMD exist and are principally classified as occlusal (bite)/muscle disorders, intracapsular (within the joint), and extracapsular (outside the joint) disorders.


TMD & TMJ symptoms include clicking in the joints, headaches, limitation of movement, tired jaw muscles, clenching or grinding teeth, bite changes, and more. In some disorders, the Sympathetic Nervous System and/or cervical spine nerves contribute to the disorder and make it even more complicated.

There are also signs that indicate a disorder is present even though there may be no symptoms at all. Some of these are excessively worn teeth, upper and lower front teeth which do not touch when the back ones do, excessive overbite, facial asymmetry, failed or repeated Orthodontics, and a smaller lower jaw/chin just to name a few. In any event, TMD problems are more predictably treated today than they were even just a few years ago. Dr. Boesch has extensive training in this area of dentistry and has been helping people with TMJ / TMD treatment in Rockville, MD, for the last 15 years. “TMJ specialists” do not exist. The ADA does not recognize this discipline of Dentistry as a “Specialty” like Periodontics or Orthodontics. Therefore a dentist can not advertise or claim to be a “TMJ Specialist.” You may need to see Dr. Boesch, your dentist in Rockville if you are suffering from any of these symptoms:

  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
  • Swelling on the sides of the face
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw area
  • A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
  • Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth


There is no “one” treatment or cure for TMJ/TMD. Each person must be evaluated on an individual basis, and a custom treatment plan is developed to solve the underlying problem/s. In most cases, MRI imaging, CBCT imaging, and a detailed history and thorough examination are required to help diagnose the problem.

TMJ treatment in Rockville varies from a simple bite adjustment, splint therapy, and in certain disorders, surgical correction of the TM joint or the jaws may be required. Since the jaw joint and the teeth are interdependent, it is necessary to take molds of the teeth and mount them on a device called an articulator, which simulates the bite relationship between the upper and lower jaw.

If you search ‘TMJ/TMD treatment near you in Rockville or other surrounding locations including Rockville Pike, New Mark Commons, Bethesda, Rockville Town Square, Maryland, and then the dentists at Joseph M. Boesch, DDS are the best choice for you. Book an appointment now!

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