What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint is the hinge that attaches the lower jaw to the skull. Between the hinge and the skull is where small shock-absorbing discs reside. These discs are responsible for keeping the movement smooth when you move your jaw. If the disk moves out of alignment or erodes, it can cause a TMJ disorder. If the joint’s cartilage becomes damaged by arthritis or from forceful impact, it can also cause TMJ disorders.
Symptoms of TMJ
Patients who suffer from TMJ usually experience one or more of the following symptoms.
- Tenderness or pain in the jaw
- Neck, back and shoulder pain
- Frequent headaches/migraines
- Headaches right after waking up
- Ear pain
- Muffled/clogged ears
- Ringing in ears (tinnitus)
- Pain when chewing
- Clicking or popping in the jaw when opening and closing it
- Locking of the jaw – jaw stuck open or closed
Diagnosis TMJ is one of the first steps of treatment. During an exam with Dr. Saw or Dr. Luu, they will take x-rays to examine any wear or cracks in your teeth and listen to your jaw as you open and close it. They will also ask you about any pain symptoms you might experience. Dr. Saw or Dr. Luu will also examine your bite to see if it’s aligned correctly. Oftentimes an imbalanced jaw can lead to excess pressure on one side of the face. If our TMJ dentists discover that you do indeed suffer from TMJ, they will recommend treatment.
TMJ Treatment in Carlsbad
At Elevated Smiles, we help our patients relieve TMJ symptoms and prevent damage to their teeth with custom night guards. The custom night guard will create a layer of protection between your top and bottom teeth so they can’t touch. This prevents you from clenching and grinding your teeth at night. Instead, you will clench or grind on the guard which will prevent damage to your teeth and alleviate pressure from your temporomandibular joint. If you have bite issues that are contributing to TMJ, we may also recommend an orthodontic treatment to help realign your jaw.
If you’re ready to put an end to frequent headaches and migraines, jaw pain, and tooth wear, contact Elevated Smiles for TMJ treatment in Carlsbad. Please schedule an appointment for a custom night guard by calling (760) 622-3010 today.