If your jaw is sore when you chew you may have temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly simply known as TMJ (or TMD). The joint connects the jaw to the skull—you can feel it just below your ears–and if it becomes displaced, one can often hear a clicking sound when the mouth is opened and shut. Some may even find this very painful.
Temporomanidublar joint disorder can also be the root cause of other symptoms, especially if someone is under stress (which causes unconscious clenching of teeth, but psychological factors can also impact the join):
» The joint “locks up.”
» Grinding teeth.
» Severe headaches for no apparent reason.
» Tooth sensitivity or pain that is hard to locate exactly.
» Neck and shoulder discomfort.
» Occasional ringing in the ears.
According to Delta Dental, the insurance provider, 15% of American adults have the problem. As a Los Angeles dentist, I have found a have found that in many patients this has occurred because of a poor bite: their upper and lower jaws don’t align properly. If the patient grinds his or her teeth at night (often without knowing it), that makes the problem worse.
Fortunately, our Los Angeles dentist and specialist team has many ways to treat temporomandibular joint disorder, depending on the cause and severity:
» In mild cases, we can train you to be aware of clenching and to learn exercises to relax your jaw.
» Hot moist compresses and ibuprofen can alleviate temporary pain.
» Neuromuscular techniques can be applied to move the jaw, joints, and tissue to their proper positions.
» A custom mouth guard can be made to be worn at night to prevent teeth grinding.
» Improved bite may require orthodontic treatment, a bridge, or restoration of lost or ground-down teeth.
» In a small percentage of the most serious cases, oral surgery may be required.
But the first step is to have the cause of the symptoms diagnosed. For more information, go to www.TMJDoctorLosAngeles.com
Leading Los Angeles Dentist Explains The Jaw-Dropping Facts About TMJ
By Igal Elyassi, D.D.S.. Wilshire Smile Studio
Disclaimer: Obviously, every patient’s case is different, and needs to be properly diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional. Please see your healthcare professional or contact us for an appointment.