Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (often called TMJ or TMD) are used to describe the pain caused by dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscle movement. The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects the jaw to the temporal bones in front of ear. This joint is especially important because it controls the movement of your jaw. It allows you to talk, chew, and yawn properly. TMJ or TMD can make these common activities very uncomfortable. Dr. Tibbitts Dentist in Murrieta offers TMJ Treatment in Murrieta.
Possible TMJ Causes and Symptoms
There are mixed opinions about what causes TMJ or TMD. Many dentists believe that problems with the muscles in the jaw or joint itself are to blame. Even so, there is no known cause, and symptoms can often occur without any obvious reason. Injury to the jaw, neck, or head muscles can lead to the onset of TMJ. Other possible causes include excessive pressure put on the joint such as grinding or clenching, arthritis, stress which can cause tightening of the jaw, or movement between the ball and socket of the joint.
There are several symptoms that cause pain or discomfort, and they can be temporary or last for several years. The most common symptoms are pain in the face, jaw muscles, or pain around the ear when you chew, or speak. You may experience pain when trying to open your mouth wide or if your jaw gets locks up while it's open or closed. Other symptoms are popping or clicking sounds in your jaw joint when you open your mouth, tired or swollen feeling in your face, or trouble when chewing food. Some less common symptoms include aching in the head, neck, shoulders, or ears. In order to get diagnosed for TMJ dental Treatment in Murrieta, Dr. Tibbitts will assess or jaw to check for pain, tenderness, listen for pops or clicks, and will test your bite. Often times a full face x-ray is recommended in order to view the jaw joints, in more severe cases an MRI or CT scan may be ordered to see the jaw joint better.
TMJ Treatment in Murrieta
There are a few options that can help relieve TMJ symptoms. Dr. Tibbitts will recommend treatment based on your personal needs. Muscle pain relievers might be prescribed depending on the severity of your pain. Other treatments include the use of heat and/or cold packs or even the use of a splint or night guard. Sometimes dental work such as replacing missing teeth, crowns, bridges or braces will be done in order to balance or correct your bite. In very severe TMJ cases jaw surgery might be needed. A consultation with Dr. Tibbitts in Murrieta will get you on your way to relief from TMJ pain.
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