Causes of TMJ disorder
The TM joint is located just in front of both your ears and connects your bottom jaw with your teeth, a hinge that allows you to open and close your mouth. Contributing factors to TMJ disorder include missing teeth, teeth not coming together properly when you bite, stress, excessive chewing of gum, sports injury, and grinding teeth (bruxism). Arthritis and fibromyalgia, which afflict women more often, can also be causes. There is a high rate of occurrence in women in their 20s and 40s, which may be related to unconscious jaw clenching or bruxism while sleeping, due to the stress of childcare responsibilities while also working.
Other research points to vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to menstruation which affect bone health, the use of oral contraceptives or treatment for hormone replacement, and the type of bone collagen that holds the disk in place between the joint and jaw socket that makes it easier to dislocate in women.
The good news about TMJ treatments
Fortunately, Wilshire Smile Studio is a renowned specialist in effective therapies to relieve the pain and stress of TMJ disorder, as well as to help patients prevent this from recurring. Our experienced doctors can diagnose the individual issues and teach relaxation techniques and neuromuscular exercises to move the jaw and related tissues to their correct positions. Botox injections by our oral surgeon, a highly-trained specialist in the muscle groups of the face, can also help relax the face and jaw.
An orthopedic oral appliance may be designed to put the jaw in a neutral, relaxed position. In some cases, the bite will require correction or teeth will have to be replaced, once the pressure in the jaw that is causing the dysfunction is addressed. If these approaches are not sufficient, painless oral surgery could be prescribed.
Sign up for a complimentary consultation at Wilshire Smile Studio. Call (323) 336-8478.