TMJ disorder is a problem that affects millions of people all over the planet, with some not even aware that they are having an issue.
According to Dr. Jack Ringer, Orange County’s most well known dentist, TMD, often called TMJ, which is actually the name of the joint, is pronounced tem-puh-roe-mun-DIB-u-lar; the temporomandibular joint connects the skull to your jawbone.
There are two temporomandibular joints located on the sides of your jaw. Pain in the muscles that control your jaw movement and the jaw joints is an indication that you may be suffering from TMJ disorder.
Dr. Ringer, past president and Accredited Fellow with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry can determine if you are having a problem with your TMJ, and although the exact cause of TMJ disorder is yet to be determined, it could have something to do with one or a combination of arthritis, genetics or jaw injury. People who have jaw pain may also grind or clench their teeth. However, not everyone who grinds and clenches has TMD.
According to Dr. Ringer, most cases of TMJ disorder can be relieved with nonsurgical and self-managed care. Dr. Ringer can assess your situation to determine what care would be best for your particular situation.
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Pain in your TMJ or TMJ’s
- Pain or difficulty chewing
- Facial pain
- Jaw locking
- Jaw clicking or grating
Dr. Ringer can determine if you are suffering from TMJ disorder, and is a TMJ dentist who will discuss what may be causing the problem and possible treatments.
Covered with cartilage, your temporomandibular joints interact with your joint with a small disk that absorbs shock. If all is well with your TMJ, the movement should be smooth.
Painful temporomandibular joint disorders could occur if:
- Arthritis has damaged the cartilage in the joint
- The TMJ is damaged by impact or a blow to the face or jaw
According to Dr. Ringer, not all TMD is clear, but there are risk factors that include:
- Different types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Jaw injuries
- Chronic and long-term jaw grinding or clenching
- Connective tissue disease that affects the TMJ
During your TMJ examination, Dr. Ringer will:
- Feel and listen to your jaw when you close and open your mouth
- Observe your jaws range of motion
- Press on and around the jaw looking for signs of discomfort or pain
- Check your teeth and gums
If a problem is detected with your teeth or TMD, and a CT scan can provide detailed pictures of the bones that may be affected.
TMJ arthroscopy is also used to diagnose the disorder. During the procedure, a small thin tube is inserted into the TMJ space. A camera, an arthroscope, is used to get a better view for diagnosis.
Non-Drug therapies for TMD
- Mouth guards
- Oral splints
- Physical therapy
- Moist heat
- Stretching and strengthening the jaw muscles
- Prescription pain medication
- NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Tricyclic Antidepressants amitriptyline is often use for pain
- Muscle relaxants
Other methods of treatment may include:
- Open Joint Surgery
- TMJ arthroscopy
- Modified condylotomy
Home and Lifestyle Remedies
Dr. Ringer suggests relaxation techniques such as mediation to relieve stress. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, Dental Cosmetics Anaheim Hills has some tips that may be helpful when it comes to TMJ relief.
Don’t-Overuse your TMJ. Eat softer foods and cut your meal into smaller pieces. Keep away from chewy or sticky foods and don’t chew gum
Do-Massage and stretch. Ask Dr. Ringer for some exercises that can help you strengthen and stretch your jaw muscles
Do-Apply heat or cold. Apply ice, moist warm heat to the TMJ, which can help with pain
Alternative and complementary medicine has been known to help with the chronic pain that can be associated with TMD. Some of the techniques that have been used for TMD include:
Acupuncture-Find a trained specialist who can treat your chronic pain with this age old alternative therapy.
Biofeedback-These electronic machines monitor specific muscle tightness, and can also help with relaxation techniques that have been show to help with TMD.
When you meet with Dr. Ringer, have a list prepared. Ask yourself;
- When did the symptoms start?
- Has this ever happened in the past?
- Have you been under a lot of stress?
- Do you have frequent headaches, toothaches, neck aches?
- Do you take medication?
- Are the symptoms consist
- Does something start the pain?
- Does your jaw pop or click upon movement, is it painful?
- Is it hard to open your mouth?
You don’t have to suffer with TMD. Call or click and schedule a consultation with TMJ Dentist Orange County Dr. Jack Ringer who can help you come up with a solution to your jaw and facial pain.
Call or click today.