TMJ disorders are common problems that cause pain and abnormal function in the jaw. It is more common in women than in men and affects about 10 million American adults. If you have symptoms of a TMJ disorder, our Hawthorne TMJ dentist can help.
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the side of the skull. It allows your jaw to open, close and slide from side to side. Anything that affects the muscles or tissues around the joint or the joint itself can trigger dysfunction and discomfort. Our expert in TMJ in Hawthorne can evaluate your jaw to determine the underlying cause and any contributing factors, and then we will recommend a treatment plan to restore comfort and function.
You may be more susceptible to TMJ disorders if you have other health conditions, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disorders or bruxism. Arthritis can also affect the TMJ and increase your risk of TMJ disorders. In some cases, trauma triggers the onset of TMJ symptoms, which can include:
• Stiffness in the joint
• Radiating pain in the jaw, face or neck
• Limited range of motion
• Chronic headaches
• Painful clicking, popping or grating in the joint or a jaw that locks open or closed
• A change in bite
Our Hawthorne TMJ dentist will ask about your symptoms, your medical history, and your dental history before making a diagnosis. Dental X-rays or other images may be taken to rule out other conditions. Most of the time, we are able to control symptoms and restore health with conservative treatments. These can include reducing the stress on the joint by eating only soft foods and avoiding gum, applying moist heat to alleviate stiffness or cold packs to reduce inflammation, and performing certain jaw exercises to increase the range of motion in your jaw.
Some patients may need more active management to ease their symptoms. Medications, physical therapy, oral appliances, injections, or surgical procedures may be needed to restore health to the joint. Our expert in TMJ in Hawthorne will work closely with you to identify the best course of treatment. Give us a call today to find out more or to schedule an evaluation with our Hawthorne dentist.