TMJ Disorders Don’t Always Require Surgery

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TMJ Disorders Don’t Always Require Surgery

TMJ disorders_Anaheim_Hills

According to your dentist in Anaheim Hills, TMJ disorders affect billions of people all over the world.

TMJ disorders

People with TMJ disorders have problems when they yawn talk and chew as the temporomandibular joint, you have two of them, is the joint that connects your skull to your jaw. Located in the front of both ears, a healthy TMJ allows you to yawn, talk, and chew without discomfort or pain.

Referred to as TMJ, which is the actual joint itself, TMD, is the scientific name for temporormandibular disorders.

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

Although there is no known cause, Dr. Jack Ringer, past president and an accredited fellow with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry believes that TMJ issues arrive with the parts of the joint or the muscles in your jaw.

If you have suffered an injury to the TMJ or your jaw, or the muscles in your neck or head, TMD could be an issue. Heavy blows to the head or whiplash can also lead to TMJ disorders.

Dr. Ringer explains that other causes can include:

  • Stress, which can cause facial and jaw muscle tightening and teeth clenching
  • Arthritis in the jaw joint or the TMJ
  • Soft disc or cushion movement between the sockets putting stress on the TMJ
  • Tooth clenching or grinding

Although TMD can affect anyone, it is more common in women between the ages of 20 and 40. TMD can cause discomfort and severe pain, which can be temporary or chronic.

Common Symptoms of TMD Include:

  • Jaw pain
  • TMJ pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Neck and shoulder tenderness
  • Pain in your ears when you speak or chew
  • Pain when you open your mouth
  • Problems opening and closing your mouth widely
  • Clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth
  • Locking or sticking jaw
  • Facial tiredness
  • Problems chewing
  • Sudden uncomfortable bites
  • Facial Swelling

Other problems that you may experience with TMJ disorders include earaches, dizziness, neck aches, headaches, toothaches, hearing problems, tinnitus, or upper shoulder pain.

How are TMJ Disorders Diagnosed?

Just like other conditions, including gum disease and tooth decay, Dr. Ringer and his team will ask for your health history and conduct an exam of your mouth, teeth, gums and TMJ. Dr. Ringer will check your joints for tenderness and pain while listening for pops, clicks, or unusual grating sounds when you move your jaw. Dr. Ringer will also make sure your jaw is working as it should and doesn’t lock when you close or open your mouth. Bite testing will also be conducted to check for facial muscle problems.

Your Anaheim Hills dentist may also take x-rays to see your jaw and joint to make sure nothing else is going on. Other tests may be ordered including an MRI or CT scan.

What Treatments are Available for TMJ Disorders?

Depending on your situation, Dr. Ringer may recommend oral appliance therapy for your TMD. Surgery is an option, but is usually reserved for complicated cases. Most people who suffer from TMD can also find relief with hot and cold packs, jaw stretching and over the counter pain medications. If your TMD is caused from tooth clenching or grinding, meditation and oral appliance therapy with Dr. Ringer and his team could be the answer.

Be Careful of the Foods You Eat

Watch your diet if you have a TMJ disorder. Eat soft foods and skip raw carrots, apples, pretzels, and chewy foods such as dried fruit and caramels. Avoid large or thick bites that require a big mouth to consume.

If you notice popping or clicking when you talk, chew, or open your mouth, call or click and schedule an appointment with Dr. Jack Ringer. Dr. Ringer can determine the cause of your jaw problems offering non-surgical treatments that just might do the trick if you are suffering from TMJ disorders or another issue.

Call for a no obligation appointment for oral appliance therapy in Orange County for TMJ disorders today.

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