The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short, is the joint that connects the lower jawbone to the skull. Located in front of each ear, the TMJ is a very complex joint that could work improperly if it gets affected by any one of several particular causes. This dysfunction is called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you might have TMJ disorder:
- Difficulty in chewing
- Jaw pain
- Popping or clicking sound whenever you move your jaw
- Neck pain
- Locked jaw
- Teeth grinding
- Difficulty in opening or closing your mouth
If you experience any of these symptoms, please see Dr. Todd Curley, DDS to have an accurate diagnosis.
How Is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?
If you do experience any of the above symptoms, our dentist will check your jaw’s range of motion, check for any areas of discomfort in your face or jaw, and feel if your jaw joints are working as they should as you open or close your mouth. If Dr. Todd determines that you might have TMJ disorder through this checkup, further tests will be taken that could include panoramic X-rays, CBCT scans, and MRI scans.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
The exact cause of TMJ disorder is yet to be determined for sure. However, some of the possible contributing factors include:
- Clenching or grinding teeth, possibly due to bruxism
- Poor posture
- Arthritis or jaw joint injury
- Dental problems like a misaligned bite Gum disease
- Poor diet
- Bad oral habits like chewing on pencils or your fingernails
How Is TMJ Disorder Treatment in Murrieta, CATMJ Disorder Treatment in Murrieta, CA?
Because the cause of TMJ disorder has not yet been determined, our treatments are focused on managing the symptoms based on their potential causes. Often, we will first prescribe some self-care practices as initial treatment. These practices include:
- Hot or cold compress
- Jaw stretching exercises
- Eating soft foods
If these do not help, we could prescribe medications to treat the pain and the swelling and/or we could custom fabricate a splint or nightguard to prevent grinding and keep your jaw from moving out of place. We could also perform one of the following treatments:
- Physical therapy
- Transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS)
- Trigger-point injections
- Botulinum toxin (Botox)
- Radio wave therapy
But if your TMJ disorder still persists, we might need to look into surgical options. These options include:
- Open-joint surgery
Contact Dr. Todd Curley, DDS, at (951) 698-6220 for inquiries or to book an appointment. Visit us at 39755 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd., Ste. D110, Murrieta, CA 92563 for the best dental care and treatments.