Have you ever heard of TMJ disorder? Also known as TMD, this common jaw joint disorder is linked to issues like teeth grinding, as well as painful symptoms like persistent headaches and migraines. In today’s blog, your Los Angeles, CA, dentist looks at how we identify and treat these issues, restoring the health and comfort of your smile, often with unique oral appliance.
The Causes of TMJ Disorder
Our temporomandibular joints connect the jaw and skull, and are responsible for the movements we need to eat and speak. However, when these same joints undergo excessive strain, this could cause TMD to develop and eventually, cause problems fully opening and closing your mouth. You could also experience a wide array of painful symptoms too! Possible causes include untreated teeth grinding (bruxism), injury to the face or jaw, bite imbalance, dental misalignment, and tooth loss. Before recommending treatment, we will first identify the factors behind your disorder, ensuring we choose the right solution for your smile.
Symptoms and Complications
How do you know if you should contact us about your TMJ dysfunction? Warning signs vary, but people often report chronic headaches and migraines. Other warning signs also include jaw pain, facial discomfort, and aches in the neck and shoulders. If you grind your teeth, then tooth sensitivity and toothaches could occur as well. Don’t let these symptoms impact your daily life, or lead to damaged teeth and trouble opening and closing your mouth, instead contact our team today to talk about possible symptoms.
Depending on the cause and extent of your TMD problems, we may recommend one or more treatment options. For example, physical therapy could help ease strain on your jaw joints. We also offer cognitive behavioral therapy and medication management. At home, you may benefit from avoiding caffeinated products or hard/chewy foods, which could worsen symptoms and strain. We also often correct the issue with oral appliance therapy, which involves creating a unique device that looks and fits like a mouthguard. The device is crafted for you based on detailed impressions and images we gather of your jaw and smile. Worn at night, the device moves the jaw to help ease strain and reduce symptoms. If you have any questions about stopping TMJ headaches, then contact our team today.
Do You Have Questions About Treating TMD?
Our team wants to find the cause of your discomfort and help address it with a custom-made and comfortable oral appliance. If you want to learn more about treating common issues with the jaw joints and bite balance, then contact Dr. Ivan Lapidus in Los Angeles, CA, by calling (310) 446-4867. We’re proud to serve residents of the San Luis Obispo area!