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TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint, is a joint that connects the skull to the lower jaw. When this joint becomes inflamed, TMD (temporomandibular disorder) develops. This joint is responsible for controlling some jaw functions, like opening and closing your mouth, and chewing. If any of these actions are causing you pain, that is a direct sign that you have TMD. TMD is commonly referred to as TMJ in the dental world. At Designed Smiles in Brea, CA, we offer treatments for TMJ so our patients no longer need to suffer.

Symptoms of TMJ/TMD

  • Pain while opening or closing mouthTMJ
  • Discomfort when chewing
  • Lockjaw when opened or closed
  • Ear Pain
  • Headaches
  • Popping or clicking noises when opening your mouth
  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
  • Muscle Fatigue in face
  • Swelling on one side of the face
  • Pain in cheeks, neck, jaw, shoulder, or near ears

Causes of TMJ/TMD

  • Grinding teeth
  • Clenching teeth
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Whiplash

Diagnosing and Treatment

You will need a complete evaluation from aTMJ TMD medical professional to confirm that you have TMD. During your exam, your dentist will examine your jaw by looking for any pain or tenderness, followed by x-rays of your jaw to look for anything out of the ordinary. If you know what is triggering your TMD, it can be helpful for the treatment process, so let your dentist know if you have been under more stress than usual, are prone to teeth grinding, or anything else that can help in the diagnosis.

Treatments will vary on your individual case, depending on what is causing your TMJ to act up. For example, if the cause is stress, your dentist might recommend taking ibuprofen, eating soft foods, and taking medication (or finding natural ways) to reduce your stress. Other options include wearing night guards or splints to keep your jaw in the correct position while you sleep. Another option would be for Invisalign® or other means of orthodontics. In very severe cases, surgery might be necessary. If you leave your TMJ untreated, it can result in severe pain and damage to your teeth. It’s important to see your doctor soon if you suspect you have TMD.

Contact Us

TMD can cause pain and discomfort to your mouth and prevent you from being able to chew or open and close your mouth comfortably. Contact us at Designed Smiles in Brea, CA for TMD treatment today. You can give us a call at 714-529-0100 or by visiting our contact us page to fill out our online contact form.