Temporomandibular Disorder - Whittier TMJ Treatment
TMJ is shorthand for the Temporomandibular Joint which is a small joint located just in front of the ear, where the skull and lower jaw meet; it allows the lower jaw (mandible) to move freely.
Temporomandibular disorder symptoms range from earaches to headaches, and some patients even report having a limited ability to open their mouth. Often, patients also experience clicking sounds in the joint and feel pain when opening or closing their mouth.
The symptoms that coincide with temporomandibular disorders can greatly interfere with overall comfort and everyday life. Your relaxation and general well-being is the primary concern of Dr. Roodzant and that is why our Whittier, CA dental practice offers TMJ treatment. Relieving pain is our primary concern. During treatment, Dr. Roodzant will test, diagnose, and develop a plan of action that will best alleviate your TMJ discomfort.
Reasons for Treating Temporomandibular Disorders
TMJ sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.
The most common cause of TMJ is the misalignment of the teeth, often called “bad bite.” It is possible for the dentist to realign or adjust the teeth without the need for painful or expensive surgeries. The realignment/adjustment will stop the pounding headaches, the jaw pain, and the dizziness.
The grinding teeth symptom is particularly common and usually occurs at night. The grinding will eventually erode the structure of the teeth and lead to much more severe dental problems in the future. Untreated TMJ is one of the prime underlying factors in eroded jawbones and loose teeth.
It is important for anyone experiencing the symptoms of TMJ to visit a dentist for an exact diagnosis.
What does treating TMJ involve?
TMJ could be a result of several different problems. Bad bite is the most common, but an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. Initially, the dentist will thoroughly examine the jaw area, the patients bite, take x-rays, and review the patient’s history in order to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment.
Once a firm diagnosis is attained, there are several ways in which relief can be provided. A specially molded bite guard can be created to stop teeth grinding during the night. A bite relationship analysis may be recommended by the dentist. The dentist can also provide advice on relaxation techniques which will lessen the effects of stress. As a last alternative, the dentist is also able to prescribe muscle relaxants.
A better option is to change the shape of the teeth and get rid of the bad bite completely, often called “realignment.” This is especially useful because it alleviates TMJ symptoms and may improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth as well. Realignment involves adjusting the relationship between how the upper teeth come together with the lower teeth. This may require new restorations and/or adjusting the natural teeth as well. It is not a painful procedure, and it is one the dentist has performed with great success numerous times. As with any procedure, Dr. Roodzant will be happy to answer questions and discuss symptoms, options, and treatments.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder, we encourage you to contact our office today to commence TMJ treatment.