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TMJ Disorders are Painful but Often Curable

TMJ_Disorder_Dentist

That pain in your jaw could have something to do with your temporormandibular joints. Your TMJ is what hinges your lower and upper jaw allowing you to talk, chew, and move your mouth from side to side.

If your temporormandibular joints are healthy you will not have any problems, however, if you have trouble opening and closing your mouth, chewing or talking, you could be dealing with a TMJ disorder.

What Causes TMD?

Orange County Oral Appliance Therapy specialist Dr. Jack Ringer explains that TMD, temporormandibular joint disorder, often mistakenly referred to as TMJ, is the name of the actual joint. People who have had the following may be suffering from TMD.

  • Physical Injuries
  • Dental Surgery
  • Infections
  • Arthritis
  • Tooth Grinding or Clenching

Other causes include the environment, hormones, and genetics. According to Dr. Jack Ringer, a preferred oral appliance therapy specialist for TMD, people who play the violin and viola have a higher rate of TMD than people who don’t play because of the way the instrument is held.

Although researchers aren’t quite sure why, women suffer from TMD more than men do. In fact, nine women to every single man suffer from TMD. Some believe hormonal changes could be the culprit.

TMD Treatments for Ongoing Pain and Discomfort

More than 13 percent of people in the US suffer from TMD at one point or another. TMD may be temporary for some and chronic for others. TMD causes temporary but ongoing pain. For those with recurring TMD it can cause long-term issues such as facial pain, headaches, ringing in the ears and neck and jaw pain.

For most TMD sufferers the pain can be mild or periodic improving within days or weeks. While there are different treatments, including medication and surgery, your dentist in Orange County may recommend the following:

  • TENS
  • Ultrasound
  • Trigger Point Injections
  • Botox
  • Oral Appliance Therapy
TENS is a therapy that incorporates electrical current to relax your muscles and TMJ. Some find relief with this type of therapy that can be done at home or in your dentist’s office.
Ultrasound, often used in conjunction with physical therapy, uses deep heat applied directly to the TMJ.
Trigger Point Injections are used for pain relief while relaxing the TMJ. While the medicine is working, it allows the patient to stretch the jaw with simple exercises.
Acupuncture is quite useful for some people. Ask your doctor for a referral as some health plans will cover acupuncture for TMJ disorders.
Oral Appliance Therapy is used to help keep the lower and upper jaw apart. As a preferred oral appliance therapy specialist, Dr. Ringer will choose the best mouthguard or splint for your needs.
Oral appliance therapy takes pressure off your TMJ allowing the muscles and joints to heal. It is vital that you schedule regular appointments with your oral appliance therapy specialist as wearing too long could change your bite.

Tips that Can Help TMJ Pain

  • Stop Chewing Gum
  • Try and Avoid Yawning
  • Extreme TMJ Movement
  • Keep Teeth Slightly Apart
  • Stop Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth
  • Chew Soft Foods
  • Reduce Stress
  • Sleep On Your Stomach

Preferred Oral Appliance therapy specialist Dr. Jack Ringer has the knowledge and experience to help you relax your jaw with splints and mouthguards that are custom made to fit over your teeth. Oral appliance therapy works and is a much better alternative to surgery.

If you are having trouble with your TMJ and can’t seem to find relief, oral appliance therapy may help.

Call for a no obligation TMD consultation today.

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