What Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Here’s what you should know about this painful jaw dysfunction disorder.

Dealing with a sore, achy jaw? If so, you could have a problem known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This painful condition affects millions of Americans. While anyone can develop this condition, our Yorba Linda, CA, dentist Dr. Richard Hamaty does diagnose more women with TMJ disorder than men. Learn more about TMJ disorder, it’s causes and triggers and how you can ease your symptoms.

What is the temporomandibular joint?

This joint is responsible for all mouth movements, as it connects the lower jaw to the skull. The TMJ is responsible for talking, chewing and biting. Unfortunately, everything from trauma to stress to dental misalignments can lead to a dysfunction in the TMJ.

What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder?

Wondering if you could have TMJ disorder? Common symptoms include,

  • Stiffness in the jaw muscles
  • Limited mobility of the jaws
  • Painful and easily tired jaws
  • Tension headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Earaches
  • A clicking or popping sound when opening or closing your mouth

If you are experiencing these symptoms and it’s impacting your daily life or causing you pain, it’s important that you consult our Yorba Linda, CA, family dentist right away to find out how to manage your symptoms.

How is TMJ disorder treated?

The good news is that most cases of TMJ disorder can be treated with home care. This may include,

  • Taking NSAID pain relievers to reduce pain and swelling
  • Cutting food into small, bite-sized pieces
  • Avoiding chewing gum
  • Applying an ice pack to the jaw
  • Massage therapy
  • Stress management

If home care doesn’t give you the results you were hoping for, our dental team here in Yorba Linda, CA, can certainly help. Some ways to manage more stubborn cases of TMJ disorder include,

  • Prescription pain relievers
  • Orthodontics (correcting misalignments can often improve how the jaws function)
  • Dental splints
  • Physical therapy
  • Botox
  • Surgery (only in severe and unresponsive cases)

Are you looking for a dentist in Yorba Linda, CA, that can help you get your TMJ disorder under control? If achy, painful jaws have become commonplace, our dental team can help. Call us today at (714) 779-1313.

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Richard Hamaty, DMD


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