Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can make it difficult to eat, talk, concentrate, or sleep. Dr. Elaine Gorelik and the skilled dentists at Trident Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Los Angeles are well-equipped to successfully treat your TMJ disorder and resolve the pain you’re experiencing. For effective solutions to your TMJ dysfunction, make an appointment today using their convenient online scheduling service.

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What is TMJ disorder?

The temporomandibular joints are located on either side of your head near your ears. They work with the temporomandibular ligaments and muscles, as well as the jawbone, to enable you to open and close your mouth. These joints become active whenever you chew, speak, or swallow and also control the lower jaw (mandible) as it moves forward, backward and from side-to-side. When this complex system does not function normally, you may develop the symptoms associated with TMJ disorder.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

Varying from mild to severe and sometimes occurring off and on or constantly, TMJ disorder symptoms may include:

  • A clicking or popping sound/sensation when opening your mouth
  • The sensation that your jaws are locking
  • Tenderness or pain when chewing, yawning, or talking
  • Migraines, earaches, pressure sensation behind the eyes

What causes TMJ disorders?

Arthritis, dislocation, and injury can all cause TMJ symptoms. Other potential causes for TMJ disorder include:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Bruxism: Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Frequent clenching of your jaw muscles

What is the treatment for TMJ?

Successful treatment requires an accurate diagnosis of the underlying reason for your symptoms, which requires a thorough physical examination. Your dentist may recommend X-rays or other diagnostic studies to help identify the reason for your TMJ symptoms. .

There are numerous treatments available for TMJ disorders and your dentist may choose one or all to treat the issue and resolve your pain.

A few things you can do at home to help relieve the discomfort include:

  • Eating softer foods
  • Eliminate chewing gum
  • Heat packs to the area for pain
  • Relaxation techniques such as meditation to control jaw tension

Your dentist may also recommend:

  • Medications such as muscle relaxants and analgesics for pain
  • Use of a night guard or bite plate to decrease the effects of grinding and jaw clenching

When misaligned teeth are responsible for your symptoms, your dentist may recommend adjusting an uneven bite by reshaping your teeth or aligning your bite with orthodontic treatment. The most appropriate therapy for TMJ disorder will likely include a combination of treatments.

The experts at Trident Dentistry have extensive experience in treating TMJ disorder. Take the first step in solving your TMJ issues today by scheduling an appointment through their online scheduling service.