TMJ Specialist

Kleinheinz Dentistry

Jeffrey S. Kleinheinz, DDS

Family Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Charlotte, NC

Sore, tired muscles can make it difficult to open, close, or even move your jaw. Dr. Jeffrey Kleinheinz at Kleinheinz Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina can help. Offering the latest NTI devices to relieve pain, Dr. Kleinheinz will have your jaw feeling better in no time. Schedule your consultation with him today by calling Kleinheinz Dentistry or book online.


What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that controls your jaw and allows you to chew, open, and close your mouth. These joints can become fatigued and sore, leading to what people often call TMJ.

Colloquially known as lockjaw, a disorder of the TMJ is actually called a temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.  

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

You might be suffering from a TMD if you have symptoms such as:

  • A creaking noise when you open or close your mouth
  • Sore or stiff muscles in your jaw
  • Pain in the TMJ joints

A TMJ disorder can make speaking and even eating difficult. This issue is often called lockjaw because the jaw can become stiff and sore, making it difficult to move.

The creaking or clicking noise when you open your jaw is perhaps the most tell-tale symptom. You may also feel like your jaw catches when you open or close your mouth.

How is TMJ diagnosed?

To diagnose you with a TMJ disorder, Dr. Kleinheinz first performs a simple dental examination. He looks at the joints and muscles in your jaw to see if they are stiff and if your jaw is difficult to move. Dr. Kleinheinz will also see if your jaw catches or makes noise when you open and close your mouth.

Dr. Kleinheinz may have X-rays or other scans done to confirm a diagnosis and to rule out other medical issues that could be causing you pain.

How is TMJ treated?

There are many ways to treat TMJ issues. Simple things like a short-term diet of softer foods can give your jaw time to rest and relieve your symptoms.

Dr. Kleinheinz also uses the latest NTI appliance which fits on the front of your anterior teeth. This device is a kind of mouthguard that prevents you from clenching or grinding your teeth by preventing you from fully biting down.

Other treatments such as steroid injections and even surgery can also help. Dr. Kleinheinz determines the best treatment option for you based on your examination and the cause of your TMD.

If you have a sore, painful jaw, find relief by scheduling an