If you are suffering due to TMJ, it is time for a visit to our TMJ pain dentist office. Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, more commonly referred to as "TMJ," are several conditions that can cause discomfort, dysfunction, and inadvertent muscle spasms and grinding in the muscles that are responsible for jaw movement. These disorders are common among patients.
IS TMJ DANGEROUS?
Fortunately, in most cases, TMJ does not result in serious problems outside of the semi-consistent discomfort. Jaw joints and muscles should still function fully. In most cases, TMJ causes discomfort sporadically that can last for a period of time, but some of our patients have serious long-term irritation that manifests due to TMJ.
WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS OF TMJ?
Discomfort when chewing or speaking; throbbing pain in the face and jaw, and sometimes in the neck; jaw stiffness; jaw popping, grinding, or clicking; inflammation; and bite changes are a few of the common symptoms of TMJ. As a TMJ pain dentist, we provide relief.
WHAT CAUSES TMJ?
There are still many questions left unanswered regarding the causes of TMJ. Some theories are that trauma to the jaw, other disorders like chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia and misaligned dental bites or braces treatment may be to blame or may have links to TMJ. Dentist and scientists are also researching how female hormones could potentially relate to TMJ since the disorder is more common in women. Grinding and clenching teeth at night is a leading cause of TMJ-related discomfort.
HOW CAN A TMJ PAIN DENTIST TREAT MY TMJ?
Since causes of TMJ are still relatively unknown, we try to avoid any surgical or invasive procedures as much as possible. Since most people experience minor discomfort rather than severe aches and pains, we begin by offering patients advice on at-home remedies. Patients can try icing the jaw, avoiding chewing hard or chewy items including gum, eat softer foods and stretch the jaw before using it.
We will work with the patient to go over good stretching techniques and ways to ease stress to alleviate tension in the joints. Patients can also try using an anti-inflammatory pain reliever like ibuprofen if the discomfort does not quickly subside. If it persists to more severe levels, we can fit the patient for a night guard or bite guard that will fit over the teeth to prohibit overuse of the jaw joints, provide some pain relief, and discourage unconscious teeth grinding. Stabilization splints are also an option if we determine that the dental bite may be to blame for some of the discomforts.
IF NO OTHER OPTION WORKS
If it is unavoidable, there are surgical procedures that can help reduce pain and remove any scar tissue that may have developed. If we determine this option is a necessity, we will further discuss the surgical actions and potential side effects that could occur. Typically, however, we recommend using a night guard first since this is a non-invasive solution.
If you think you may have TMJ disorder, but you are not sure, come into our TMJ pain dentist office for a checkup and diagnosis. Keep in mind that in most cases, discomfort will subside and will not continue chronically. When you visit our dentist office in Beverly Hills for treatment, we will help you find ways to prevent tension and discomfort from becoming a continual occurrence.