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If Your Ears Ring, You Have Facial Pain, Your Jaw Clicks Or “Locks Up” You Might Suffer From TMJ

About 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ–temporomandibular joint disorder (aka TMJD). This affects the hinge that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This can be a relatively mild problem or a serious one and is often misunderstood, although some celebrities have announced they have been treated for it, including LeAnn Rimes, Clay Aiken, Burt Reynolds, and Iggy Azalea.

There can be many symptoms and if you have any of these you might have TMJ:

  • When you open and close your mouth, you hear a popping, clicking, or even cracking noise.
  • Sometimes your jaw “locks up” and your ability to open and close is restricted.
  • Your jaw muscles feel sore or stiff.
  • You have painful muscles in your neck and shoulders, even muscle spasms.
  • You suffer from frequent, severe headaches, whether migraines or from tension.
  • You sometimes feel dizzy.
  • You have facial pain that is nonspecific or swelling on the side of the face.
  • There is occasional ringing, pain, or a feeling of congestion in the ears.
  • You feel tingling or numbness in the hands or fingertips.
  • You have tooth sensitivity or pain that is hard to locate with certainty.
  • You notice that some teeth are especially worn down.
  • You realize that you are unconsciously clenching your teeth.

There are many things that can cause TMJ(D), including emotional stress of all kinds, the use of oral contraceptives, missing teeth, grinding teeth at night (known as bruxism), bite misalignment, vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the diet, excessive gum chewing, a blow to the head, whiplash, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis.

Fortunately, the Wilshire Smile Studio TMJ team has many remedies available. One of the simplest and most effective is a custom-made orthotic “splint” that you can wear during the day or while sleeping to separate the upper and lower teeth to gradually align the bite. We can also teach you simple neuromuscular exercises to relax your jaw, prescribe muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, or recommend ibuprofen and hot, moist compresses for temporary pain. You may need to have old dental crowns or bridges replaced or have an orthodontic treatment done. In some cases, Botox injections would be helpful or painless oral surgery might be necessary. We also work with an outside doctor for physical therapy, ultrasound, and laser treatment, which combined with what we do can be very effective.

Call us now at 323-DENTIST (336-8478) to have our dentists diagnose any concerns with your jaw, mouth, and teeth, stop further damage and reduce your anxiety and stress.

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