Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) refers to problems of the jaw muscles and jaw function. The jaw system is very complex and jaw problems can become debilitating.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is typically the most active joint in the body, as it needs to open and close up to 2000 times per day while chewing, talking, breathing, swallowing, yawning, and snoring.
There is a complex relationship between the jaw, cervical spine, and teeth alignment. When something goes wrong in any one of these regions, it may lead to a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, resulting in jaw pain or dysfunction.
Many factors can contribute to a TMJ disorder, including stress, jaw malocclusion, habitual activities including teeth grinding, and problems with posture, inflammation, and injury.
Signs of TMD include:
· Jaw pain and/or stiffness
· Headaches, usually at the temples and side of head
· Vague tooth soreness or toothaches which often move around the mouth
· Sensitive teeth
· Pain or tenderness at the jaw joint
· Difficulty opening the jaw
· Pain and fatigue when eating hard or chewy foods
· Clicks, pops, or grinding noises in the jaw joint
· Ear pain
· Neck pain and tension
· Worn-down and misshapen teeth
· Grinding or clenching teeth, especially at night
· A pattern of breaking or cracking teeth not caused by tooth decay or trauma
· History of medically-diagnosed migraine
Each case is unique, and will need to be evaluated to choose the best treatment.
The goal of TMD treatment is to minimize pain and establish a return to function. TMD conditions are never cured, but can be managed. The major goal of TMJ therapy is to allow the muscles and joints to heal themselves through rest and care and return to complete and pain-free functionality. We also help you recognize symptoms early so you can manage them yourself. TMJ-related conditions can often recur later on, but early care can minimize severity and help you protect your jaw.
Surgery and orthodontics are also an option for treatment, but are typically used only when therapy does not produce lasting relief.
For Therapy to Treat TMD, Call Now
Our practice is dedicated to helping patients improve their lives through reliable, comprehensive health care. We are not only dentists, but your partners in healthcare, committed to improving your overall health and quality of life.
Contact our practice today to schedule your appointment for TMJ therapy in Encino, CA.