The joints that connect the lower and upper jaw are the temporomandibular joints. Complications and problems can occur in the jaw joint and the muscles that control the jaw. Other often painful symptoms can damage teeth and make it difficult to use the jaw and teeth properly.
TMJ: Symptoms and Causes
Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ problems are:
- Limited movement of the lower jaw
- Clicking sounds
- Muscle spasms
- Locking of the jaw
Potential causes of TMJ can include:
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Low-level infections
- Auto-immune diseases
Treating TMJ Disorders
There are several treatment options that can help alleviate painful symptoms of TMJ disorders:
When TMJ symptoms are mild, at-home options may help alleviate TMJ pain. Some of these solutions include:
- Jaw exercises
- Relaxing your facial muscles
- Sleeping on your side
- Using an ice pack in a clean cloth
- Using a heat pack
- Eating soft foods to help your jaw rest
However, if your TMJ pain is severe and frequent, you can call our Lancaster office at (661) 948-6700 or our Palmdale office at (661) 273-6565. We will make sure that you can get effective treatment, whether you receive it in our office or from a recommended specialist.
If you have misaligned or crooked teeth and suffer from TMJ pain, Invisalign may help. Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to straighten teeth gradually and give patients a more balanced bite. However, this option is not good for patients who clench and grind their teeth as a result of TMJ and cannot stop bruxism.
TMJ disorders can often be treated conservatively with oral appliances. Oral appliances act like mouth guards and prevent teeth from grinding together. They cover and protect teeth to prevent further wear and tear. They also take the pressure off of the jaw and allow teeth to properly align. After receiving treatment with oral appliances, some patients may need restorative treatment. If teeth have been worn down or damaged due to bruxism caused by TMJ, they can receive dental crowns to protect teeth from further damage