Dr. Elassal has been providing conservative and successful TMJ dysfunction treatment for over 30 years.

The main key to this successful TMJ treatment is to ensure the ball is properly seated in the socket and the posterior teeth are in full balanced contact. When these criteria are fulfilled, you will not have to continue wearing any appliances.

Some symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:

  • Clicking
  • Popping
  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Limited opening and closing
  • Changes to your bite
  • Ringing of the ears
  • Swelling around the ears
  • Wearing of your teeth

Severity of your TMJ condition can be divided in three categories:

Mild TMJ dysfunction

Mild TMJ dysfunction can be characterized by some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Joint clicking
  • Audible joint popping
  • Occasional pain and headaches
  • Ringing of the ears

Moderate TMJ dysfunction

The above symptoms will occur more frequently and will probably be more severe. Stress may intensify the symptoms. Locking of the joints may be present and the intensity of the pain and headaches begins to affect the quality of life.

Severe TMJ dysfunction

Severe TMJ dysfunction is accompanied by constant pain and headaches. One or both joints may be permanently locked and exhibit limited mobility, either when opening or closing. The bite does not feel normal and the patient may feel tired.


Treatment begins with an exam and an analysis of the bite, or occlusion, together with X-ray images to help determine how to address each specific case. In some cases, reshaping teeth, or equilibration, is used to achieve a stable bite and quickly provide relief. Patients who have complex cases will need to wear an appliance called a splint. The next step is to permanently improve your bite.

Dr. Elassal’s objective is to restore your joints to their optimal health. His aim also is to permanently improve the fit of your teeth and the function of the jaws so that wearing a splint for the long term is not necessary. It is very satisfying to see patients improve and the quality of their life return to normal.