Is TMJ Treatable?

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Our office sees numerous patients who struggle with temporomandibular joint pain. Many have suffered for years and hold little hope that our dentists can help treat this disorder. We would like to offer encouragement to those who endure that pain; temporomandibular joint pain is treatable.

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located on either side of your head, just below each ear, and connects your jawbone to your skull. To work, the TMJ merges a hinge motion with gliding movements. This action allows you to open and close your jaws. There are many reasons patients experience temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) some are genetically predisposed to problems, others suffer because of arthritis in the joint, and some people develop problems after an accident involving the face. Occasionally, our TMJ dentist sees patients with no apparent cause for their pain.

There is hope for patients who have TMJ disorder. Our dental office in Huntington Beach offers helpful treatments to relieve pain and swelling. There are three treatment categories: medications, non-drug therapies, and surgical (or other) procedures.

MEDICATIONS:
Often, our TMJ patients get little or no relief from over the counter pain relievers. This is when our dentist prescribes stronger medications such as prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Occasionally, our dentist prescribes muscle relaxing medications. These are generally for short-term use.

NON-DRUG THERAPIES:
These treatments often include a regimen which alternates moist heat and ice as well as jaw exercises to strengthen the muscles. Sometimes, patients benefit from mouth guards which they wear at night. The belief is that these prevent teeth grinding and jaw clenching during sleep.

SURGICAL OR OTHER PROCEDURES:
Surgical intervention is the last course of action for our TMJ patients. Prior to open-joint surgery, our dentist will use other options such as corticosteroid injections. Additionally, our dentist may use arthrocentesis, a treatment where a small needle injects fluid into the joint clearing away debris. Arthroscopic surgery and open-joint surgery are used to correct structural problems with the temporomandibular joint.

If you struggle with TMJ disorder, do not despair, contact our office to learn specific ways we can help you.

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Is TMJ Treatable?

Can I Treat TMJ Myself

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When it comes to oral health, nothing should be taken lightly. The digestion process begins with our teeth. We eat, we smile, and the more pain we experience, the harder life can be. So when the aches and discomforts of TMJ become too much there is no time to waste. Dental patients obviously have a great deal of questions for their dentist. And with TMJ, the more that’s known the better. Perhaps that is why so many people are wondering if it’s possible to treat TMJ themselves.

Cracking of the jaw, popping, discomfort, even headaches are all symptoms. Eating softer foods is one way to combat the pain that comes with such an ailment. Some individuals can even pick up custom night guards to try and waylay the underlying issues. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatories can also help. But when all of those things fail, it’s important to reach out to a dentist. Getting the best services possible from a reliable TMJ doctor in Thousand Oaks can change everything. Devices like a splint can help for a time. Nerve pain medication and even acupuncture can help also. To that extent, there are options. The one choice you shouldn’t make is leaving TMJ untreated.

Can I Treat TMJ Myself

Available Treatment Options for TMJ

 

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TMJ, or temporomandibular joint syndrome, can be crippling when left untreated. Those who suffer from numerous symptoms such as facial tenderness and trouble chewing, often seek dental professionals in order to combat the painful side effects. Our TMJ dentist in Thousand Oaks provides superior treatment to counter the condition through therapy and timely procedures.

TMJ is classified as injury occurring in one or both of the joints that connect your jaw to your skull. Although there are many potential factors, a major cause of this condition is injury or misalignment of the teeth or jaw. If you are diagnosed with TMJ, our dentist may recommend a splint or night guard to limit teeth grinding. Another option would be a therapeutic method known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. This practice uses a small battery powered machine to deliver a circuit of electrical impulses to the nerve fibers in order to reduce pain. Other available options are trigger point injections, or in severe cases, dental surgery, to release muscle tension. If treated quickly, patients with temporomandibular joint syndrome will avoid numerous painful side effects including trouble hearing, chronic headaches, poor oral health, and lack of sleep.

Available Treatment Options for TMJ

About the Jaw Joints

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TMJ is a serious disorder that can make even the simplest daily tasks, such as speaking and eating, difficult and painful. The disorder is centered in one of the jaw joints. While experts are unsure of why this issue occurs, we do know that it can be brought about due to stress, arthritis, or physical damage. Here is some important information about the jaw joints.

The joints that connect our lower jaw to the skull are the most complex in the whole body. They allow us to move our jaw up and down, forward and back, and even slightly side to side. It is able to function this way thanks to a whole system of bone, muscle, and soft tissues. There is also a large nerve that travels across the joint to the top of the face. If anything in this area becomes damaged, shifted, or disrupted in any way, TMJ can develop. This often results in pain in the jaw, head, neck, shoulders, and even teeth, as well as numbness on the side of the face. Other symptoms include tinnitus, grating sensations, and lock jaw.

If you recognize any of these symptoms in your daily life, schedule an appointment with our dentist for TMJ pain treatment.

About the Jaw Joints

Can TMJ Affect Your Vision?

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The trickiest part of a proper TMJ diagnosis is figuring out what exactly can be blamed on your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. TMJ is a strange condition that can manifest differently in every sufferer. Vision problems may be your only symptom, or one of several, but most patients instantly wonder how this particular symptom could ever make sense. Is your jaw really connected to your eyes?

The answer is yes, which is part of what makes TMJ so difficult. Since the TMJ is a double joint, appearing on either side of the face, it dominates masticatory and cranio-vertebral function—chewing, speaking, and breathing. With such a heavy workload, the slightest jolt in routine can cause massive failures in the system. This includes disturbances in vision.

TMJ pain is regulated by the trigeminal nerve. This is one reason TMJ symptoms tend to be literally all over the place: the trigeminal nerve innervates everything from the Eustachian tubes to the sinus lining. The nerve itself has three branches: maxillary, mandibular, and ophthalmic. The first two relate to the jaw, and the second relates to the eyes.

As you can see, because of its interconnection with the trigeminal nerve, any TMJ disturbance could present as blurred vision or sensitivity to light. Schedule a consult with our Los Angeles TMJ pain treatment expert today.

Can TMJ Affect Your Vision?

Could TMJ Cause Ringing in the Ears?

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If you have a persistent ringing in your ears, you should see a doctor right away. This condition is called tinnitus and could signal something wrong with your auditory system.

However, another source of tinnitus might be your temporomandibular joint, the hinge that controls both up-and-down and side-to-side movement of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint exerts powerful bite forces, making it high risk for trauma and inflammation. TMJ disorder may also arise from arthritis or another autoimmune condition.

Symptoms of TMJ range from clicking or popping sounds in the jaw—with or without pain—to headaches and earaches. It follows that tinnitus, which affects the inner ear, could reasonably be associated with TMJ. The joint borders the eardrum, after all.

If your doctor decides TMJ is the baseline cause of your tinnitus, they may start you on a whole routine of self-care meant to eradicate it. TMJ is often blamed on increased stress levels, so a lifestyle adjustment may be in order. Muscle relaxers and even antidepressants are often prescribed as well.

If you have tinnitus attended by any of the above symptoms, you may require TMJ treatment. For more information, contact our TMJ doctor in Los Angeles.

Could TMJ Cause Ringing in the Ears?

Does TMJ Cause Numbness?

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TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joint, a disorder that affects the joints that connects the jaw to the skull. This disorder has many telling symptoms, including pain and discomfort in several areas. Many are unaware it can also cause numbness. Our TMJ specialist wants everyone to know how this effect occurs.

When one or both of the jaw joints becomes damaged or inflamed, the surrounding tissues can be disturbed. This includes the muscles and nerves. The trigeminal nerve runs right next to the joints on both sides of the face, and carries sensory input from the forehead, face, and jaw to the brain and back. It is estimated that approximately forty percent of the brains total input is received through this nerve. If it is affected, the patient can experience numbness in these areas.

Other symptoms of TMJ include:

• Headaches and migraines
• Tooth pain
• Neck pain
• Stiffness or tenderness in the jaw
• Clicking or crackling in the jaw
• Lock jaw
• Muscle spasms

It is more common to experience pain due to TMJ than numbness. The joints are blocked from having too much contact from the trigeminal nerve by the skull bone, so if pressure is put on the nerve, it will likely respond by sending out pain signals.

Does TMJ Cause Numbness?