What is TMD/TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint located on either side of your jaw connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ is a type of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) that can cause pain radiating from the jaw joints to the muscles controlling jaw movements.  At Aliso Niguel Dental group, we are highly committed to providing our patients with TMD/TMJ the finest care and management program that allows them to lead a normal life. Our team of dentists has specialized training in treating TMD through both surgical and non-surgical procedures.

What are the symptoms and causes of developing TMD/TMJ?

Symptoms that indicate TMD cause pain and discomfort and vary from patient to patient. More common symptoms of acquiring TMD treatment include;

  • Pain in the jaw joint
  • Aching in the ear and surrounding areas
  • Locking of the joint causing difficulty in chewing
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Aching facial pain of numbness or tingling
  • Headaches

The underlying causes of developing TMJ are not clear but potential causes contributing to TMJ could include; damage to the jaw joints cartilage due to arthritis, jaw misalignment, or injury to teeth.

What are the treatments available for TMD/TMJ at the Aliso Niguel Dental Group?

At Aliso Niguel Dental Group, we tailor a treatment plan depending on each patient’s condition. A diagnosis of TMJ requires our specialized team of orthodontics to carry out a thorough medical history exam followed by dental x-rays, CT scans or MRI’s to determine the bones involved in the joints causing jaw problems. For most people symptoms of TMD/TMJ usually, subside with simple home treatments but may reappear without warning. At Aliso Niguel Dental Group, we initially begin by offering less invasive non-surgical at-home treatment options which include; consuming soft foods, regular facial exercises, applying ice packs and applying moist heat to the face and temples to relax the muscles causing spasms. Dentists may also prescribe over-the-counters medications, such as; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen and aspirin to relieve symptoms of TMJ. If symptoms of TMJ persist, dentists at Aliso Niguel may suggest surgical procedures such as; TMJ arthroscopy which involves making a small incision in the front of the ear to allow a small thin tube to be placed in the joint space. Removal of tissue or adjustment of the top part of the jaw bone may be carried out. Alternative treatment options available include; acupuncture, and trigger-point injections.
Before undergoing any surgical procedures for TMJ, our team of specialized orthodontics prioritizes in informing patients about the potential benefits, drawbacks and possible outcomes of all treatment options dependent on patient condition.

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