TMJ Treatment in Sacramento
TMJ and TMD are extremely painful disorders, caused by issues with your Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). TMJ is often caused by grinding teeth (bruxism), but other issues like a poor bite structure can also cause TMJ and TMD.
Looking for a TMJ/TMD dentist in Sacramento? Dr. Redford can help you identify and treat your TMJ, and provide you relieve from the pain and discomfort caused by this musculoskeletal disorder.
Schedule your appointment at Redford Smiles now at (916) 565-2570, or keep reading to learn more about TMJ, its symptoms, and common treatment methods.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ can refer to both the temporomandibular joint itself, and a variety of painful conditions caused by TMJ joint imbalances. The temporomandibular joint is a crucial part of your jaw and tooth structure.
Your TMJ connects your lower jaw to the temporal bone on the side of your head. This little joint is responsible for quite a bit of work. It moves your jaw, allowing you to yawn, speak, chew, and open your mouth.
TMJ disorders occur when your TMJ is displaced, inflamed, or otherwise damaged. Most commonly, this is caused by bruxism, also known as tooth grinding. Excessive grinding of the teeth places a lot of strain on the TMJ, which may become inflamed, or even “pop” out of position.
Other causes include an improper bite or poorly positioned jawbone, and even arthritis. In rare cases, head trauma can also cause TMJ disorders.
The symptoms of TMJ are easy to recognize. You may have a TMJ disorder if you are experiencing multiple symptoms listed below:
- Stiff jaw muscles
- Serious, radiating pain in your jaw/face/neck
- Limited jaw movement/jaw “locking”
- Chronic, painful headaches
- Earaches and ringing in ears (tinnitus)
- Painful “pops” and “clicks” in the jaw
- Changes in bite structure
The exact symptoms of TMJ will vary, depending on the cause and severity of your TMJ disorder. The pain and discomfort caused by TMJ can vary from mild and barely-noticeable to excruciating and unbearable.
If you have experienced one or more of the above symptoms, your TMJ may be inflamed or misaligned. Contact Dr. Redford for an appointment and examination right away.
What’s TMJ Treatment?
TMJ treatment varies, depending on the root cause of your TMJ disorder.
TMJ caused by bruxism (tooth grinding) is usually treated by a bite guard. This bite guard is worn at night, and prevents you from grinding your teeth together, thereby reducing strain on your TMJ. After a few weeks, you should begin to feel relief from your TMJ disorder.
If your TMJ is being caused by an inflammatory disease like Rheumatoid Arthritis, pharmaceutical treatments like anti-inflammatories are usually recommended.
TMJ caused by poor bite alignment or jaw structure can sometimes be corrected by orthodontic procedures such as metal braces or Invisalign. Seriously misaligned bites may require surgery of the jaw, though this is relatively rare.
Does TMJ Go Away?
This depends on the cause of your TMJ disorder. Minor cases of TMJ can often be resolved with simple, at-home self-care, such as:
- Eating softer foods
- Icing your TMJ
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDS)
- Avoiding extreme jaw movements (chewing gum, wide yawning, singing, shouting)
- Stress-reduction/relaxation techniques
- Gentle jaw stretching/exercises.
However, this is only the case for very minor cases of TMJ. If your TMJ is caused by an issue like bruxism, arthritis, or a misaligned bite, it will almost always require professional treatment.
When TMJ is Serious?
TMJ is serious whenever the pain caused by your TMJ disorder is enough to interfere with your life. Untreated TMJ leads to chronic, serious pain that can seriously impact your quality of life.
TMJ is not just painful, either. If left untreated, it can lead to other conditions, such as permanent hearing loss (tinnitus), or even lockjaw, where your jaw becomes “locked” in an open or shut position.
If you are not sure how serious or severe your TMJ is, consult with a doctor. Dr. Redford of Redford Smiles can diagnose your TMJ and its root cause, and determine whether interventions such as mouth guards, orthodontics, or surgery are required to correct it.
How Is TMJ Diagnosed?
At Redford Smiles, Dr. Redford will conduct a comprehensive examination of your jaw and mouth to identify and diagnose TMJ. This examination includes:
- Patient interviews – Dr. Redford will ask you for details about your TMJ pain. When did you start feeling pain your TMJ? Do you grind your teeth? Have you experienced this pain before?
- X-rays – X-rays of the jaw and muscular structure will be taken, to identify TMJ misalignment/inflammation, and analyze bite structure and jaw placement.
- Visual examination – Dr. Redford will manipulate your jaw and mouth to determine where you are feeling pain from your TMJ joint.
After a comprehensive oral exam, Dr. Redford will be able to identify the source of your TMJ pain, and recommend appropriate treatment that will help you relieve your TMJ pain.
Contact Redford Smiles Today
If you are suffering from TMJ/TMD in Sacramento, you need to get professional help from a TMJ expert right away. Whether your TMJ is caused by grinding teeth (bruxism), arthritis, or even an impact injury, it can be very painful and uncomfortable.
So trust our dentist, Dr. Redford, to identify and diagnose your TMJ quickly and effectively. With years of experience working with TMJ patients, Dr. Redford can help you understand the severity of your TMJ disorder, and recommend the treatment that is best for your particular needs.
Why should you pick us? Our reputation precedes us! We have served hundreds of satisfied patients in Sacramento. Take a look at our testimonials page now, and see why we are so popular with our past patients!
Do not wait, and do not let chronic TMJ/TMD pain interfere with your life. Contact Redford Smiles today at (916) 565-2570 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Redford.