Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) often starts as mild joint pain, but without treatment, it can develop into permanent jaw dysfunction. Jennifer Xie, DDS, at Bay View Dental is a leading TMJ specialist in Antioch, California. She and her team treat TMJ with appliances and medications. To book an evaluation, call Bay View Dental or book an appointment online today.
Your temporomandibular joints connect your jaw to your temples, which are located on the sides of your head. The acronym TMJ typically represents temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome, a condition that affects one or both of these joints.
The team at Bay View Dental specializes in managing facial pain, including pain that stems from TMJ. Your temporomandibular joints are complex and act as a hinge to open and close your mouth. When they don’t work properly, you can experience problems with eating and speaking.
Without treatment for TMJ, the pain and other symptoms can get worse with time. You should book an appointment for a thorough evaluation at Bay View Dental soon after you notice symptoms, especially if they don’t improve.
The primary symptom of TMJ is joint pain or soreness affecting one or both of your temporomandibular joints. However, it doesn’t end there for everyone. If you have TMJ, you might also experience:
TMJ often develops in part because of teeth grinding and clenching. You might not realize you clench or grind your teeth because the action is often subconscious.
It’s possible to grind your teeth while you sleep and remain unaware of the habit until you develop TMJ or tooth damage. Other common causes of TMJ are arthritis, disc erosion, or jaw injuries.
The team at Bay View Dental takes several steps to relieve your TMJ pain and other symptoms associated with the condition.
First, they may use digital X-rays to evaluate the joint for damage or misalignment. If the joint isn’t perfectly aligned, it could be placing pressure on certain structures within.
Once they find the cause, the team plans an effective treatment to relieve your pain. They may suggest a bite guard to wear at night if they find evidence of teeth grinding.
Your Bay View Dental provider might also prescribe an oral splint to wear at night, which corrects any persistent joint misalignment.
In addition to corrective devices or therapies, the team might prescribe medication to relieve your pain or soreness. Undergoing treatment for your TMJ may help you avoid or curb severe joint deterioration and complications like permanent lockjaw.
If you have persistent jaw pain, don’t hesitate to call Bay View Dental for a TMJ evaluation or book an appointment online today.