TMJ is the abbreviated name for the temporomandibular joint, the joint connecting your jawbone to your skull. When TMJ dysfunctions, it stops sliding smoothly as it should and causes pain when the joint is being used or even while at rest. This dysfunction is temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD. To gain a diagnosis of TMD and some help for resulting pain and conditions, you can visit with a TMJ dentist at Gage Dental Care in Bell, CA.
Why go to a TMJ dentist?
The temporomandibular joints enable you to open and close your mouth, as they are the joints, jaw muscles, discs and ligaments connecting your jaw to your skull on each side of your head. Each TMJ ball and socket joint has a disc between the ball and socket. The discs play an important role, cushioning the load on the joint while enabling the jaw to perform its functions. TMJ joints are also used when you speak, chew, swallow, and move your jaw from side to side or up and down.
When your TMJ joint does not perform as it should due to injury or inflammation, you may experience pain. This pain can include tension headaches, migraines, neck pain, ear pain and sore jaw muscles. About 15 percent of American adults experience TMD pain that may be caused by teeth grinding, injury or stress. Painful TMD can result from any problem preventing the muscles, ligaments, bones, nerves and discs from working properly.
Although the precise causes of TMD are not always clear, possible causes of TMJ disorders are:
- Grinding of teeth
- Misalignment of teeth or jaw
Diagnosing TMD is an important part of finding the right treatment for your pain. Your Gage Dental Care TMJ dentist will check your joints and muscles, looking for areas or actions of tenderness, popping, clicking, or problems in movement. Your TMD may happen when opening, closing or moving the jaw from side to side. If you have TMD, you may suffer the following:
- Ear pain, inside or around the ear
- Neck aches
- Jaw or jaw muscle tenderness
- Jaw pain, such as when chewing, yawning or biting
- Soreness of the jaw in morning or late afternoon
- Difficulty in opening or closing the jaw
- Popping noises or clicking sounds when opening your mouth or chewing
- Sensitive teeth not linked to other dental problems
More women suffer TMD than men. The pain disorder is particularly prevalent in women of childbearing age and is one of the most common facial pains. It is important to have a TMD diagnosis, to start treatment. But arriving at a diagnosis can be confusing because exact causes and symptoms are often unclear. To make diagnosis even more difficult, there are other dental conditions that cause symptoms like those of TMD.
Toothaches and sinus problems can be misdiagnosed as TMD. This is why your Gage Dental Care TMJ dentist will ask questions and investigate your pain fully before arriving at a diagnosis. To arrive at your diagnosis, your dentist will evaluate your described symptoms and conduct a simple examination of your face and jaw. Your dentist will also review your dental history as part of the review. X-rays and a cast of your teeth to evaluate your bite may also be needed. When the TMJ dentist has reviewed all of your physical structures and arrived at a diagnosis, a type of treatment may be recommended. Recommendations may include:
- Pain modification through use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Resting of the joint for modification of the pain
- Use of relaxation techniques, such as biofeedback or other stress management
- Nightguard treatment to prevent nighttime teeth grinding
- Adjustment of poorly aligned teeth, called occlusal adjustment
What is an Occlusal Adjustment?
An occlusal adjustment by your Gage Dental Care TMJ dentist can correct problems that affect your jaw’s health and cause pain. Occlusal adjustment relates to imperfect positioning of your teeth, called malocclusion. This malocclusion stresses many of your teeth, causing them to have to work harder while other teeth do not fit together as they should.
If malocclusion is not corrected, pain is not your only problem. This condition can also damage cosmetic enhancements of your smile, such as porcelain veneers, bridges, crowns or dental implants. This is why it is important to allow Dr. Delaram Hanookai to conduct occlusal adjustment to properly realign your teeth and treat TMD, before having restorative procedures.
Occlusal adjustment can:
- Improve functioning of your jaw and teeth
- Save your teeth and smile
- Prevent damage to cosmetic enhancements
- Alleviate TMD pain and discomfort
- Make chewing easier and more comfortable
Why Gage Dental Care in Bell CA for your TMJ problems?
All of the professionals of Gage Dental Care in Bell CA work together toward provision of quality dentistry and continuing oral health care for their patients. This includes treatment of problems like TMD and issues of the TMJ. Dr. Abaian and Dr. Hanookai provide skills that work together to correct dental problems and help you achieve a pain-free, vibrant smile.
Dr. Hanookai is particularly skilled in correction of structural problems of the mouth and jaw, including those of TMD. This correction can help support your teeth and crowns or other cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Abaian’s work will help you achieve your most beautiful and comfortable smile using crowns, veneers or other methods after your TMJ problems are addressed.
Your smile is always in good hands when you visit the dentists of Gage Dental Care. Whichever dentist you are visiting for your next appointment, you can rest easy knowing they are one of the most trusted dentists in Bell CA.
Come In for Your TMJ Dentist Visit
When you schedule a TMJ dentist appointment or other treatment with Gage Dental Care, you are gaining the expert help of dentists and other staff who care about your oral health. At Gage Dental Care, your dental insurance may be used to pay for treatment, as well as credit cards, cash or financing available in the office or through third party dental financing organizations. The office staff of Gage Dental Care will work with you to ensure maximization of your dental insurance coverage and keep your treatment affordable.