If you have popping jaw joints, difficulty opening your mouth, or discomfort when you bite or chew, you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Jaw pain is very real for the people who live with it. At Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions, we offer customized TMJ/TMD treatment to relieve your pain and improve oral function and comfort.
Causes of TMD
The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are the hinges that join the jawbone to the skull. Some people, unfortunately, have dysfunction of these joints and the problem can be triggered by any of the following:
- Bite imbalance
- Injury to the jaw
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Missing teeth
- Chronic stress
- Poor posture
Lifestyle habits can strain the jaw, as well as ill-fitting dental restorations. Sometimes people are simply born with imperfectly situated TMJs and they cause chronic or intermittent problems.
Symptoms of TMJ problems
The most typical symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain and tenderness in the jaw or face
- Discomfort when chewing or speaking
- Limited jaw mobility
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth
- Ear pain
- Ringing ears
- Stiff neck, shoulders, and back
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “locked” in the open position
Sometimes health problems like migraines or chronic headaches are mistaken for TMD since TMJ problems can cause such headaches. Chronic sinus pain and infections can also feel like TMJ problems. More often than not, though, TMD is misdiagnosed and people suffer too long with a condition that can be easily treated once recognized.
Your Manhattan Beach dentist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth and evaluate your reported symptoms to accurately diagnose any complications and determine if TMD is what you have.
Types of TMD solutions for TMJ complications
There are many options for TMJ/TMD treatment at Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions. Your dentist will begin with the most conservative and least invasive options first to see if the symptoms can be remedied through lifestyle changes. This could include:
- Giving up chewing gum
- Using a hands-free phone
- Adopting stress-management techniques like yoga or meditation
If relief cannot be achieved with these efforts, the next step is to consider modifications or dental restorations that bring the bite into balance, such as a:
- Nightguard: This customized oral appliance is worn at night to help reduce strain on the joints. It is especially helpful for patients who have bruxism and clench or grind their teeth while sleeping.
- Cold laser therapy: This low-level laser therapy is a revolutionary technology that is safe, non-invasive, and pain free. It reduces TMJ pain and inflammation, lets you open the mouth wider, and improves tissue repair while also healing the nerves surrounding the jaw disk.
- Trigger point injections: Pain medication or anesthesia is injected into the facial muscles – called trigger points – to give injections of relief right at the source of the jaw pain.
- Electro-therapeutic point stimulation: This therapy relaxes muscle tissues that impinge the nerves and create jaw pain. The relief is immediate, but only temporary and treatments must continue to maintain effectiveness.
Get TMD treatment in Manhattan Beach
Everyone’s TMJ problems will have a unique source. Some people cannot find stress relief and have a progressively worse teeth-grinding problem that negatively impacts their TMJ. Others take a blow to the face from an accident or sporting injury that irritates their jaw and joints. And still more people have jaw and teeth misalignment and they may want to consider a course of Invisalign or other orthodontic treatment to straighten out their bite.
If you believe you are suffering with TMJ/TMD problems, schedule a consultation with Dr. Don Mungcal or a member of his team to discuss the options available to you.
If you believe you are suffering with TMJ/TMD problems, schedule a consultation with Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions310-340-6663