TMJ / TMD Treatment In Huntington Beach

There are many treatments for TMD, and your choice needs to be made as you work with your dentist. Sometimes over-the-counter pain relievers coupled with warm compresses against the jaws relieves treatment with orthodontic appliances like braces or aligners and can bring your teeth and jaws into proper alignment. If you have sleep apnea, treatment for it may reduce or eliminate your jaw pain. There are several kinds of mouthguard that can help reduce pressure on the jaw tissues, including the stabilization splint.

A stabilization splint is a go-to treatment for TMD. At Impression Dental Care in Huntington Beach, we custom make each split to fit your mouth perfectly. These splints fit over the lower or upper teeth and help keep your jaw properly aligned in its correct position.

What is the temporomandibular joint?

The temporomandibular joint connects our upper and lower jaw together, allow us to eat and speak properly. The joint can become irritated, inflamed and impaired, which causes pain as well as trouble eating and speaking. TMD also can involve the facial nerves and jaw muscles. Your dentist at Impression Dental Care in Huntington Beach offers an array of treatments that can set you right again

What causes TMJ?

  • Malocclusion of the teeth—misaligned teeth causing problems with how the teeth come together
  • Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint
  • Weakness in the muscles of the jaws
  • Injury to the face, head or jaw
  • Emotional stress that causes jaw clenching
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding during sleep)

Diagnosis

Your dentist makes a diagnosis of TMJ/TMD by palpating (pressing) the joint and jaws to see where your pain is located. We also feel your jaw and listen to the joint as you open and close your mouth. Normally the temporomandibular jaw joint is silent when in motion, but TMD causes a popping, grinding or crackling noise. Your dentist at Impression Dental Care in Huntington Beach also checks for any anomalies in the alignment of your jaws.

Common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Sore jaw, painful temporomandibular joint and jaw muscles
  • A stiff, wooden feeling in the jaws when opening wide or yawning
  • Pain in the temporal sides of the head (the areas around the ears)
  • Stiff, painful neck and shoulder muscles
  • Pain in the jaws that peaks in the early evening and morning
  • Aching, painful jaws during biting down, yawning or chewing, often all three.
  • Jaws being stiff and resistant to opening
  • Crackling, popping or “clicking” sound when the mouth is opened and closed
  • Sensitive teeth in the absence of dental problems

Women suffer from TMD about twice as much as men. For all genders, TMD is the most common source of chronic facial and jaw pain that’s not caused by dental disease or injury.

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