According to an estimate, 10 million Americans have experienced jaw pain. These pains could also affect surrounding areas of the face. Jaw problems persist more in women.
Usually, this pain begins at temporomandibular joint or TMJ, located close to both ears. TMJ joint comprises of muscles, ligament bones, and nerves and these help us to chew food and to speak.
What is TMD?
TMD refers to a temporomandibular disorder, which is not a serious problem but can be painful. It is a disorder in which your jaw joint and face muscles are misaligned. It is usually related to the movement and composition of the jaw.
What are the causes of TMJ disorder?
Multiple factors contribute the muscle tightness and dysfunction. TMJ is the connection between the jawbone and the skull and its disorder is usually caused by
- Injury to the teeth or jaw
- Misalignment or trauma of the teeth or jaw
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Poor posture
- Chronic inflammatory arthritis
- Musculoskeletal disorder
- Stress or anxiety
- Excessive gum chewing
- Dislocation of the soft cushion between ball and socket joint.
What are the common symptoms and signs of TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder symptoms are often overlooked in chronic conditions such as:
- Persistent headache, especially located at your temples or around your eyes including migraines
- Aching pain in and around the ear, ringing (tinnitus)
- Unexplained pain in the neck and shoulders
- Difficulty chewing or moving the jaw
- Popping or clicking in the temporomandibular joint making it difficult to twist, open or close the mouth
- Soreness and aching in the oral cavity
- Swelling on one side of the face
- Locking the jaw joint that creates a problem in an open or closed position
- Inability to widely open the mouth
- Hearing problem
- Severe toothaches that are not caused by normal dental problems
How TMJ specialists diagnose TMJ syndrome in San Diego?
TMJ specialists San Diego, diagnose TMJ syndrome by taking
- The patient’s medical history
- Physical examination to check the primary cause of the disorder.
- Maxillofacial surgery may be necessary if there is a poor misalignment of the jawbone with the skull bone.
- Digital X-rays and CT scan to analyze the structure and function of the troublesome jaw joint.
- Sometimes TMJ specialist also recommends MRI of temporomandibular joint to detect damage to the damaged cartilage to the jaw joint.
Home remedies that provide relief in TMJ pain
Many symptoms of TMJ syndrome respond well to home remedies.
- Ice or cold pack the area of the joint
- Eating soft food and avoiding chewing gums
- Gentle self-stretching the jaw and neck muscles
- Use of sedative essential oils (such as lavender, chamomile, sweet marjoram, and clary sage). It may provide temporary relief from TMJ pain.
Home remedies are not an effective solution for TMJ pain. The medical treatment is essential, so get in touch with a TMJ specialist to get long-term relief from TMJ symptoms.
How TMJ dentist treats TMJ syndrome in San Diego?
TMJ specialist uses various solutions for the treatment of TMJ according to the requirements of patient. These may include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Dental splint and mouth guard to keep the teeth in alignment and prevents teeth grinding
- Medications to tighten lax connective tissue around the jaw joint
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain
- Orthodontic correction of misaligned teeth
- Filling gaps between the teeth
- Crowns to even dental bite
- Adjusting the bite
- Orthodontic correction
Is it possible to prevent TMJ syndrome?
TMJ syndrome can be prevented by self-care at home. Such as
- Eating soft food
- Avoiding chewing or clenching gum
- Maintaining proper posture
- Practicing stress reduction and relaxation techniques
- Using dental splint appliances as recommended by a professional TMJ dentist.
- Using proper safety equipment, i.e. mouth guard to prevent jaw fractures and dislocations while exercising, working, or participating in sports.
What to do if you have a jaw or bite problem?
TMJ disorder doesn’t always require dental treatment, sometimes the pain disappears after changing some eating habits.
Dr. Vinh Tran is the best TMJ specialist in San Diego, who will alter the structure of your jaw by placing braces, crowns and various types of other appliances. He also recommends TMJ surgery to reduce TMD pain.
Schedule an appointment with us. You can contact us at (619)280-4861 to determine the TMJ treatment plan that suits all your individual needs. At Orange Family Dental, our main goal is to provide excellent dental health to our patients.