When you want to learn more about the diagnosis, treatment, and cause of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, TMJ, visit a TMJ dentist in Vista for quality information. When you think you may have TMJ, it can be hard to know what to expect. We can answer all your questions about TMJ and how it affects you.
What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
Scientifically referred to as temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, is a group of different conditions that directly affect your temporomandibular joint. Your temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw, called the mandible, to the bone at the side of your head which is referred to as the temporal bone.
The mandible controls your jaw movement, including when you eat, speak, and yawn. When you have TMJ disorders, you will experience discomfort and tension within and around this joint.
What causes TMJ?
The causes of TMJ disorders are still relatively unknown. There could be many causes including repercussions from a jaw injury, links to other disorders, an incorrect bite, or a former orthodontic treatment. We can speculate what might have caused your TMJ when you come in for an appointment to our office. Typically we find that the symptoms are related to grinding and clenching your teeth at night.
How do I know if I have TMJ?
You will know you have TMJ by the symptoms. Symptoms include inflammation or heat in the temporomandibular joint area, discomfort, clicking, popping, or grinding coming from your jaw, stiffness or tension in your jaw, or changes in how your upper and lower teeth come together.
If you still are not sure whether or not you have TMJ disorders, visit a TMJ dentist in Vista for an official examination and diagnosis. We can also provide treatment as needed.
How can I treat TMJ?
Treatment of TMJ begins at home. Try icing the area when it becomes inflamed or irritated, eat softer foods that do not aggravate your symptoms and avoid chewing gum, and take ibuprofen or another over the counter pain reliever when discomfort begins or if it seems to happen at the same time every day.
If your discomfort is more severe and consistent, visit a TMJ dentist in Vista for treatment. We can suggest other at-home care options for relieving pain, we can provide you with a stabilization splint or night guard to inhibit jaw or dental bite movement involuntarily, and we may even consider providing you with a prescription to help with discomfort or Botox that has been proven to also help.
In most cases of TMJ disorders, prolonged symptoms, and long-term detrimental effects are not common. Most patients only suffer brief bouts of pain and swelling that will subside fairly quickly. In many cases, the symptoms of TMJ happen in a cyclical manner that is not caused by any one thing unless it is due to persistent grinding or clenching. To learn more about TMJ causes and treatment, schedule an appointment with our TMJ dentist in Vista. We will inform you of everything you should know about TMJ and what you can expect from this disorder going forward.