Many people clench and grind their teeth (bruxism) and suffer from headaches related to these parafunctional habits. Clicking, locking, and popping of the joints while chewing or opening wide (with or without pain) are signs of TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders). Muscle pain usually accompanies these signs. Collectively, they are referred to as TMJ Dysfunction. Stress and strain from the back and neck can also lead to TMD. Misalignment of the teeth does not directly lead to TMD, but may contribute to the TMD, as this condition is most often multi-factorial. It is very important for a specialist with a long history of training for TMD management to evaluate these conditions and determine if it is normal or if it requires intervention. Most patients who are bothered by their symptoms gain resolution of their pain and headache with conservative intervention of patient education, physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and often a night guard to prevent damage to the teeth and joints from bruxism. Sometimes, imaging of the joints with coned-beam CT or MRI allows the specialist to rule out more serious disease processes that are much more rare. Dr. Gray has been evaluating and treating patients with this common disorder for 30 years. His inter-disciplinary approach is evidence-based and conservative. If you have any symptoms of TMD, it is important to have them diagnosed within 6 months of the onset of symptoms for the best possible prognosis.