TMJ Dentists Los Angeles

TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder is a common disease with more than 10 million Americans affected, a large number of whom visit TMJ Los Angeles Dentists. It affects the way someone talks, chews and yawns.

Expert Dentistry in Los Angeles

Doctors in Los Angeles are now developing ways to cure TMJ disorders that can disrupt people’s activities of daily living. It can affect the way they talk, interact with people and most especially their eating habits. The question is what Los Angeles TMJ disorders are and how to prevent and cure it.

TMJ Los Angeles

TMJ disorders result from problems with the temporomandibular joint. This is the socket joint on the temporal bone that connects with the condyles (rounded ends of the jaw) and has a disc that ensures smooth movement.The disc also absorbs shock from movements such as chewing.


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About TMJ And Dentists In Los Angeles

TMJ or called the temporomandibular joint involves your facial muscles for it connects your jawbone to your skull. It is responsible for mastication and speech. With this, experts say that when you have problems on your TMJ, you can feel it abruptly, even though some signs and symptoms are also present from time to time. TMJ disorders are chronic conditions which are diagnosed when it is in its final period. More so, doctors cannot immediately diagnose TMJ Los Angeles in a patient for there must be several tests to be performed for the confirmation of the disease.

When this disc becomes dislocated, the movement is irregular and can cause pain and discomfort to the victim.TMJ Los Angeles specialist hasn’t been able to link it to any concrete cause although stress to the jaw from biting too hard or grinding the teeth can result in a TMJ disorder. Whiplash and trauma to the jaw can also cause the TMJ to be dislocated. Studies have been done to try and establish a link between female hormones and TMJ disorders owing to the fact that these cases are more common in women.

The temporomandibular joint connects the temporal bone in the skull with the mandible. This jaw disorder can be corrected through TMJ surgery and other medical procedures. A qualified orthodontist or an oral maxillofacial surgeon can perform this surgery to get your jaw’s movement back to normal.

TMJ DIagnosis By A TMJ Specialist

Currently, there is no standard test which can be used to accurately diagnose TMJ disorders. This is because the symptoms are confusing. A dental professional will listen to the patient’s description of symptoms and check the critical areas such as the head, jaw, face and neck. Imaging can also be used to examine the area.Typical TMJ disorders fall into three categories;

  • Myofascial pain in the muscles that control jaw function
  • Injury to the condyle, a displaced disc or a dislocated jaw can cause internal derangement of the TMJ joint.
  • Inflammation of the joint caused by arthritis.

Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders include; locking of the jaw, popping, clicking or grating of the joint when opening and closing the mouth, a radiating pain in the face, jaw muscles stiffness and uneven alignment of teeth when the mouth is closed. Jaw noises without pain or discomfort is common and is not a symptom of a TMJ disorder.

As the signs and symptoms are varying from patient to patient, also their treatment must be coherent of what they are manifesting. Doctors ensure that patients having the disorder must be away from discomfort and as well as have proper treatment and rehabilitation. They give NSAIDS, which is anti-inflammatory drugs, to relieve swelling, and also pain management medications. Aside from that doctors must also suggest applying cold compresses to the affected side. However, some patient may have reconstructive treatments, which involve surgeries to correct the disproportion of the joint.

Patient’s life can be interrupted if they have the disorder. Eating habits will be affected leading to poor nutrition causing severe malnutrition if left unaided. However, there are also things that must not be observed, as said by the physicians. As it involves that jawbone and joint, then patients are advised not to chew gums for they can promote repetitive chewing pattern, thus, can entrap the air leading to ear pains. More so, TMJ Los Angeles patients must just take liquid to a soft diet for natural eating and not too much strain the mandible. On the other hand, they must not also take medications which are not prescribed for it can lead to drug interactions and side effects.

Causes For TMJ, Dentist Solutions Los Angeles

Although the causes of this disorder have not been completely understood, the symptoms associated with TMD can be linked to problems with the muscles of the TMJ joint or those of the jaw. It is more common in women especially between the ages of 20 and 40. Typical causes of TMD include a dislocation of the disc that connects the ball of the jaw with the socket and also clenching and grinding teeth. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can also cause TMD if the temporomandibular joint is affected. Whiplash and taking a heavy blow can also result in a TMJ disorder. Stress is also included as a risk factor because of the tendency to tighten the jaw muscles when under stress.


Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ causes pain and discomfort in many people, and it can be long term or go away after a while. Other symptoms include;

  • Pain in the jaw especially the joint area
  • Pain and tenderness on the face
  • Locked jaw when the mouth is closed or open
  • Pain in the neck, ears, and shoulders
  • Being unable to open the mouth fully
  • A popping or clicking sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Experiencing difficulty when chewing
  • Fatigue in facial muscles
  • Swelling on both or one side of the face
  • Headaches, toothaches and neck pain

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult with your doctor to get TMJ treatment. TMJ Los Angeles centers offer treatment for TMJ and surgery if it is too severe. Also, pain medication is administered to reduce discomfort.

Usually, some people show tricks in popping or clicking their jaw. However, they do not know that it is already one sign of having a problem. According to the experts, the disorders are maybe caused by teeth and jaw disproportion, accidents or injuries involving the face, and frequent grinding of the teeth during sleeping and or when awake. Forceful chewing can also result in the TMJ disorders.

With this, doctors will perform a physical assessment to patients and check for the presence of symptoms of TMJ Los Angeles, which are commonly ear pain and dullness, jaw pain, headache, blurry visions, swelling of the affected side of the face and dizziness. Furthermore, it may also affect the patient’s balance, and sometimes shoulder pains can occur.

With this, we must take care of our body and health to ensure wellness that can bring much positivity towards life.


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TMJ Dentist Specialist Los Angeles

If the disease has not progressed to a severe stage, treatment can be done without requiring surgery. At home, you can apply a cold ice pack on the area experiencing swelling or alternatively moist heat (warm towel). Also, simple jaw exercises can be done to relax the jaw and help with the pain and selling. Avoid extreme jaw movements which might make the condition worse. A TMJ expert can administer pain medication like Advil to reduce discomfort. For severe cases, a number of surgeries can be performed such as;

Treating TMJ Los Angeles

TMJ Arthroscopy: This procedure involves creating a small incision around the front of your ear after being anesthetized. The surgeon then inserts a surgical instrument with a tiny camera to see the affected area. After this, the surgeon can align the disc between the jaw and the joint or remove inflamed tissue.

TMJ Arthrocentesis: General anesthesia is administered after which the orthognathic surgeon inserts some needles into the affected area. Fluid is used to wash out the area. This procedure is used to correct closed lock-jaw and sudden onset of TMJ.

Open-joint surgery: Unlike arthroscopy, the whole area is opened for inspection and analysis by the surgeon. It is mostly used for severe cases or patients who have developed tumors due to TMJ.

Treatment Of TMJ In Los Angeles

Treatment options come in two forms, conservative treatments (pain medication, self-care, stabilization splints, Botox) also referred to as reversible treatments and irreversible treatments that include surgery and implants. Most cases of TMJ ailments do not need invasive procedures like surgery and can be treated conservatively.

Conservative TMJ Treatment Methods

These are reversible, non-evasive treatments used to cope with symptoms of TMJ. Pain medication can be used for temporary relief with non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication recommended. Muscle relaxers or stronger medication can be used in the severe condition. Self-care methods include applying ice packs, eating soft food and gentle jaw relaxing and stretching exercises. Stabilization splints are the most commonly prescribed TMJ Los Angeles treatment and is a plastic bite guard placed on upper and lower teeth.Although the FDA has not approved Botox use for TMJ treatment, it offers great potential to alleviating pain in the jaw muscles for the long term.

Irreversible TMJ Treatment Methods

Surgery is an example of an invasive treatment method used to treat TMJ disorders. There is still controversy over the safety and effectiveness of surgery for this treatment. If the risks outweigh the benefits, it is better to use conservative treatments. Implants are another invasive treatment method where artificial jaw joints are added to treat TMJ. People who have already undergone surgery should not have implants as multiple jaw surgeries can result in a poor outlook.


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