TMJ and TMD Treatments
TMJ Therapy to Relieve Your Jaw Pain
Do you suffer from persistent jaw pain, tension headaches, or worn teeth? If so, you may be suffering from temporomandibular disorder (TMD), a painful jaw disorder that our Palmdale TMD dentists regularly treat successfully at AV Sierra Dental Center. Our thorough examinations will find the source of your discomfort and then our dentists will work with you to develop a comprehensive TMD treatment plan to relieve the pain. Call our office in Palmdale, CA (661.202.3542) or contact us online to schedule your consultation today!
What is TMD/TMJ
TMD affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), the joints formed where the upper jaw meets the lower jaw, which is why it is often referred to as TMJ. It also affects the muscles that connect and control the joints. These muscles allow the jaw to move up and down, side to side, forward and backward. TMD results in pain in the jaw, as well as limited movement of it. It can affect an individual’s ability to speak, chew, swallow, and breathe easily.
Twenty to thirty percent of the adult population suffers from TMD/TMJ, and it is more common in women and in those between the ages of 20 and 40.
TMJ Headache Pain
TMJ disorders can cause prolonged symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, and ear pain. In severe cases, TMJ/TMD can even cause migraine headaches that are debilitating. If you suffer from frequent jaw pain and headaches, TMJ treatment could benefit you.
TMD/TMJ symptoms also include:
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds coming from the jaw
- Muscle pain that can be felt in the cheeks and temples
- Difficulty opening the mouth wide
- Lockjaw, or the jaw getting stuck open
- A more bulky-looking face
What Causes TMD/TMJ?
The exact cause of TMD is unknown. It is believed that symptoms can result from a variety of conditions that directly affect the jaw muscles and joints. TMD/TMJ symptoms are most often caused by physical stress reactions such as clenching and grinding of the teeth, which commonly occur while sleeping. Additional causes include:
- Injury to the jaw, TMJ joint, or the muscles of your head and neck
- Teeth grinding
- Stress and anxiety
- Movement of the soft cushion between the joint’s ball and socket
The Risks of Leaving TMD/TMJ Problems Untreated
If you ignore your TMD symptoms and prolong your TMJ treatments, your symptoms may start to intensify leading to:
- Increased teeth sensitivity to temperature changes
- Multiple cracks or splits in your teeth
- Damage to existing dental restorations
- Gum line recession
- Periodontal issues
- Shifting of your teeth
- Degenerative issues related to the disks that control opening and closing of your jaw
- Lock jaw
Av Sierra Dental Center’s TMJ Treatments
Our dental practice in Palmdale begins all of our TMJ treatments with a comprehensive oral examination. This allows our TMJ specialists to properly diagnose the root cause of your pain. They will then work with you to design a thorough and personalized TMJ therapy plan to eliminate your pain.
The best TMJ treatment is to maintain proper and balanced forces on each tooth. Our TMD treatments include the use of a “deprogrammer” also known as splint therapy. It’s a simple, effective device that’s similar to an orthodontic retainer, and it’s worn for three to four weeks for 24 hours a day. You can remove it when it’s time for a meal or to brush your teeth.
The deprogrammer is positioned on the roof of your mouth and secured with a wire that fits around the outer surface of your teeth. This device “deprograms” tense jaw muscles by preventing your teeth from touching, allowing your muscles to relax thereby reducing inflammation, pain, and headaches.
After the required treatment time is completed, your muscles will no longer push on the jaw joint and cause discomfort or pain. The deprogrammer won’t solve your bite problem, but it allows Dr. Jason Oh to assess your bite and determine the best solution for you.
Other TMJ Treatment Options
- Bite Adjustment: To ensure your teeth are aligned and touch without pressure, teeth are sometimes thinned, built-up, or leveled. This will alleviate pressure or friction when you bite or chew, allowing your jaw to open and close properly.
- Braces: This orthodontic treatment can shift the upper teeth to make room for the lower teeth. Dr Jason Oh can also modify the amount of tooth structure in between the contacts, allowing narrower teeth to fit better.
- Overlays: We can use porcelain or resin to build up the back teeth to increase their height and open up the bite. This can either reduce the pressure on the front teeth or correct the issue by improving support on the back teeth.
- Full Mouth Rehabilitation: In situations where the dentition has been severely worn or damaged, treatment may involve full mouth rehabilitation. This is when we combine restorative treatments to rebuild the form and function of your smile.
We Make Paying for Your TMJ Therapy Easy
Most dental insurance providers will cover all or at least a portion of your TMD treatments. Our team will work with you to ensure you are able to maximize your benefits. Our practice also offers a variety of financing options for patients without insurance. Our goal is ultimately to ensure you receive the TMJ treatments you need, so our team will take the time to work with you to ensure your TMD treatments are affordable.
Ready to Alleviate Your Discomfort?
Our extensively trained and experienced TMD dentists are here to help. If you are living in the Palmdale, CA area and are experiencing TMJ symptoms, call AV Sierra Dental Center today at 661.202.3542 to book an appointment.