TMJ Disorders and Treatment Options
Temporomandibular joint disorders or dysfunction, are a collection of severe and painful medical conditions affecting jaw joints. These conditions include headaches, muscle pain, clicking and locking jaw joints and other symptoms that patients often don’t relate to TMJ.
Dr. Robertson and his team in Irvine, California, can relieve your TMJ pain and other symptoms using modern diagnostic and proven therapeutic technologies.
What Are the Signs of TMJ also known as TMD?
TMJ has many different “origin stories.” Generally, TMJ symptoms may be suspected if you experience:
- Intense pain in the jaw joint
- Pain that can be felt in the shoulders, neck, temples, and ears
- Sounds of clicking or popping when opening and closing your mouth
- Painful eating or chewing
- Headaches when you wake up
- Jaw “locking,” which makes it difficult to open your mouth
- Unnatural straining to eat
Dr. Robertson has years of experience treating TMJ and related conditions such as bruxism, which is characterized by jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Furthermore, we also use advanced cone-beam CT scanner technology to diagnose TMJ and similar conditions.
What Causes TMJ?
As with many oral health problems, there are several reasons why TMJ can arise. Your symptoms may be rooted in:
- Injuries to the jaw joint
- Erosion of connective discs
How Do You Treat TMJ?
Dr. Robertson may prescribe medication to reduce inflammation depending on the nature and severity of your symptoms and underlying conditions. We may recommend muscle relaxers for those who grind their teeth. The application of ice or heat can aid in easing swelling and pain.
Long-term treatments include the fabrication of oral appliances, such as nightguards or oral splints. These custom splints are worn over the teeth. They prevent the teeth from touching when you bite down while sleeping. That reduces the extreme pressure that is placed on the joints (and teeth). Additionally we use specialized night guards that are specifically designed for the treatment of TMJ. They are called NTI devices that slip over the front teeth. Your back teeth remain apart, and your jaw muscles relax.
We can also draw from various home treatments, such as jaw exercises, relaxation techniques, and physical therapy. We recommend minimizing behaviors that can stress the joints and connected tissues, for instance, chewing gum or chewing ice.
Don’t Put Off Treatment
Without treatment, symptoms can become more severe or frequent. Call us without delay at (714) 908-7472 to schedule an evaluation at our Irvine, CA office.