Cris Simmons DDS

Your Jaw Pain & TMJ Expert

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Category Archives: TMJ-TMD

Self-Care for Jaw Pain

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

None of us want to see a doctor unless absolutely necessary.  One of the most compelling symptoms prompting us to call or see our doctor is pain.  Patients suffering from craniofacial pain and temporomandibular disorders (TMJ), unfortunately have few effective self-care options for the chronic pain usually associated with these conditions and therefore must seek […]

Nightguards: Good or Evil?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I am frequently asked about the indications for use of “nightguards” and what type of nightguard I recommend.  A few years ago I was asked this question during a presentation I was making at the Washington State Dental Hygiene Association annual meeting.  My tongue and cheek response was that in most cases the #1 indication […]

My dentist says I have TMJ! What does that mean?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

This is a great question and one we often hear.   The first point to understand is that TMJ is not a diagnosis at all.  TMJ is an acronym for the TemporoMandibular Joints or simply your jaw joints.  All normal healthy people have a pair, one on each side of your head.  However, you may have […]

Craniofacial Pain Confrence Fort Worth July 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I recently attended the 27th Annual International Clinical Symposium sponsored by the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP).  The meeting was held in Fort Worth, TX on July 27-28 201. The theme for the conference was “Perspectives of Related Professions”. The AACP was founded in 1985.  Membership in this international organization consists of dentists, oral […]

Idaho State University Advanced General Dentistry Program

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I recently visited the Idaho State University Advanced General Dentistry Residency Program in Boise, Idaho to deliver a presentation entitled “Bruxism, Clenching and Obstructive Sleep Apnea – The Neuromuscular Perspective”. The program in Boise is headed by Pamela Powell, DMD, a neuromuscular dentist and a member of the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics (ICCMO).  Dr. […]

Neck Pain of Craniomandibular Origin Unassociated With Trauma

Friday, May 7, 2010

A complete discussion of the cervical spine and its relationship to the craniomandibular system would require a several day seminar.  The comments to follow will begin to develop the impact of mandibular posture to cervical dysfunction and pain.  The resting relationship of the movable mandible to the fixed maxilla is influenced by many factors.  These […]

Eye pain and TMD

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Retro orbital pain, or pain behind the eye, is a frequently reported symptom by patients who have TMJ/TMD.  This type of pain is often not perceived to be related to TMD by the patient or the doctor.  Patients may have often been convinced that the pain is due to eyestrain or even an undiagnosable or […]

TMD Treatment for Headache: a case history

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Our experience with headache patients is typified by our patient Beth (the facts of this case are true, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.)   Beth was referred to me by a neighbor for evaluation of chronic jaw dysfunction including clicking and popping jaw joints, jaw-locking open and closed, and jaw muscle […]

TMD and Headache

Friday, February 12, 2010

Headache (cephalgia) is a common complaint among TMD-TMJ patients.  Consulting the literature on the incidence of headache yields widely varying results in study populations.  This is due to the wide variety of craniofacial pain symptoms, including headache, and the various methods used to categorize headache pain.  In spite of this epidemiologic confusion, there are some […]

Cervical Whiplash and TMJ

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It is a matter of common sense that a direct impact to the lower jaw, temple, or temporomandibular joint can result in injury to the TM joint.  A lesser-known mechanism of injury is the TM joint injury resulting from trauma to structures, which directly or indirectly provide attachment to or are functionally related to jaw […]