Get relief from pain with effective TMJ Therapy
Do you experience clicking or popping in your jaw? Pain when you are eating? Headaches when you wake up each day? These are just a few of the many symptoms that people can have when suffering from TMJ disorder. Unfortunately, millions of Americans with the condition go undiagnosed each year. At Volterra Dental in Los Alamitos, California, dentist Dr. Richard Blackburn is experienced in diagnosing TMJ disorder and offers effective therapies to help get you out of pain and back to your everyday life.
TMJ disorder explained
“TMJ” is short for temporomandibular joint. The TMJs are located on each side of the jaw and are active in all of the movements that we make with our jaws throughout the day: chewing, speaking, smiling, yawning, and more. While most joints in the body only move in one direction (like the elbow), the TMJs are complex joints because they help the jaw move in multiple directions. This makes them more susceptible to pain, inflammation, and injury. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Clicking, popping, or grinding in the jaw.
- Jaw, ear, or neck pain.
- A sensation of a locked jaw.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Feeling that your bite is off.
TMJ treatment options
TMJ disorder can be caused by various underlying factors, ranging from simple lifestyle habits to arthritis or injuries. Like all dental care that he provides, Dr. Blackburn will tailor your TMJ treatment plan to your specific needs based on a thorough evaluation, which may include one or more of the following options:
- An oral appliance or orthodontic therapy: Misalignment in the teeth or jaw can contribute to TMJ disorder because the teeth are not biting down properly, placing extra force on the sensitive tissues. With a customized oral appliance or orthodontic treatment, the teeth can be brought into correct alignment, reducing pain and other TMJ symptoms.
- Night guard for clenching and grinding: Many people clench and grind their teeth at night (called bruxism), which can cause damage to not only the TMJs but also your teeth and other oral structures. With a custom-made mouthguard, you can protect your teeth and get relief from TMJ pain.
- Lifestyle changes: Daily habits such as chewing gum, chewing on hard objects, or even sitting with poor posture can put unnecessary stress on the joints.
- Stress reduction techniques: Tension in the TMJs and surrounding muscles can contribute to pain, and stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or seeing a therapist can help relieve symptoms.
While the above options can help many patients find relief, some may require more advanced treatment options such as surgery if the joint is physically damaged due to arthritis or injury. Dr. Richard Blackburn will perform an in-depth consultation and evaluation to help you understand the best treatment options for your needs.
To schedule your TMJ consultation at Volterra Dental, call our Los Alamitos office at (562) 501-3188 today!