The TMJ is a critical joint involved in the normal function of your jaw. It allows your jaw to open and close, and jaw pain can significantly impact your life. Jaw pain that makes it hard to talk or chew shouldn’t be ignored. The dentists at Alluna Dental in Studio City, California, are specialists in TMJ disorders and offer treatment that can bring you much-needed relief. If you’re concerned about jaw pain, call the Alluna Dental office or use the online booking tool to schedule your consultation.
General, Cosmetic, & Implant Dentistry located in Studio City, CA818-980-3333
TMJ Q & A
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. The TMJ connects your jawbone to the temporal bones on each side of your skull. The TMJ is the connection that allows you to open your mouth, talk, and chew. You have one TMJ on each side of your face.
TMJ disorders, also referred to as TMD, can cause pain in your jaw and surrounding muscles. Pain can affect your jaw movement and control. With a normally functioning TMJ, cartilage and a shock-absorbing disc separate the joint touchpoints, making movements smooth. If you have a TMD, you might be suffering from:
- Damaged cartilage due to arthritis
- Disc erosion or migration
- Jaw injury
- Chronic teeth grinding or clenching
What are the symptoms of TMD?
TMJ disorders can have many causes, and it’s sometimes difficult to determine what the cause of your pain is. Jaw pain is frequently a combination of factors, including genetics, tooth grinding, or injury.
Some common symptoms that the dentists at Alluna Dental see in patients with TMD include:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Pain in or around the ear
- Difficulty or pain when chewing
- Clicking or popping sound in the jaw
- Jaw joint locking
- Swelling on the face
Some people experience TMD temporarily, while for others, the pain lasts for years. It might affect one side of your face or both.
How are TMJ disorders treated?
Most cases of TMD can be managed with nonsurgical treatments. To propose the best TMD treatment plan for you, your dentist completes a full examination of the function of your jaw. Depending on your unique condition, they may suggest medication, therapy, or lifestyle changes.
Anti-inflammatory medications can be used to relieve temporary TMD pain, and muscle relaxants can help with more severe cases. Therapies, like mouth guards or physical therapy, can help protect the joint by reducing the pressure placed on it.
It’s also helpful to avoid overuse of your jaw — limit your gum chewing, for instance — and apply hot or cold compresses to alleviate pain. To get an expert diagnosis about what’s causing your jaw pain, it’s a good idea to see a dental specialist and avoid self-diagnosis.
Don’t let jaw pain limit you. Call today or book an appointment online to learn more about TMD treatment at Alluna Dental.
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