HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE YOUR JAW DOES NOT OPEN AND CLOSE SMOOTHLY?
or noticed a popping or clicking sound when you open your mouth, these may be signs that your temporomandibular joints do not align properly. When this happens, it can lead to problems chewing, and tension and soreness in the muscles that control the jaw. Painful symptoms such as headaches and neck and jaw pain may also result, leading to ongoing discomfort. Dr. Savitha Siddappa of Thousand Oaks, CA is trained in identifying and diagnosing this condition and can help you find relief with several possible treatment options.
What is TMJ Disorder?
Medically speaking, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the mandible to the temporal bone of the cranium by various ligaments, and are separated by an articular disc. TMJ disorder is the pain or dysfunction of the chewing structures or the TMJ and jaw muscles.
TMJ disorder may be present when top and bottom arches of teeth do not align properly when you bite down, but this is not the only possible cause. Trauma to the head, neck or body can also lead to dysfunction of the jaw, as can stress, diet, age, posture and frequent computer use. If you are suffering from symptoms of TMJ disorder, Dr. Siddappa will help you get to the bottom of your symptoms and work to alleviate them.
Possible symptoms of TMJ disorder may include:
- Clicking/popping of the jaw joints
- Clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth (bruxism)
- Ringing of the ears (tinnitus)
- Ear pain not resulting from infection
- Dizziness (vertigo)
- Tension and pain in the face and neck
- Uneven tooth wear and cracking, or damage to dental work
- Stiffness or limited range of motion in the head/neck motion
- Reduced range of motion opening and closing the mouth
If you've experienced any combination of these symptoms, Dr. Siddappa can help you determine whether TMJ disorder treatments may be beneficial.
How is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?
In order to determine whether your symptoms result from TMJ disorder, Dr. Siddappa will conduct a thorough examination, listen to your symptoms, and look over your medical and dental history. Diagnostic scans may include x-rays, CT scans, and MRI as necessary to identifying the specifics of your joint dysfunction.
Depending on your individual case, Dr. Siddappa may recommend a consultation with your primary care doctor to rule out other known causes of pain, such as sinus or ear infections
Treatment of TMJ Disorder
If you are diagnosed with TMJ disorder, there are many nonsurgical treatment options that may help alleviate your symptoms. Dr. Siddappa and her staff are specially trained to recognize TMJ disorder symptoms and help you make the right choice in managing your condition.
Self-Care for TMJ Disorder
Some patients are happy to learn about less invasive self-care options, which can include:
- changing your diet
- hot and cold therapy
- avoiding chewing gum
- learning techniques to reduce stress
- Short-term use pain medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort
Massage and relaxation techniques can sometimes help patients reduce tension in the jaw enough to stop the headaches and facial pain caused by TMJ disorder. Dr. Siddappa can help you learn these techniques as a first step of TMJ disorder treatment.
How Dr. Siddappa Can Help You
Dr. Siddappa may recommend a combination of the following treatments:
- Stabilization splints or occlusal splints that are custom made
- Trigger point injections of local anesthetics, when a myofascial component is involved
- Corticosteroid/hyaluronic acid/PRP injections into the joint
- Botox injections
- In-office physical therapy with TruDenta
Visit Prism Dental Group to learn more about TMJ Disorder and recommended treatments for individual symptoms. We have helped many patients escape their TMJ pain and look forward to making your life more comfortable with our treatments.