Over ten million Americans, including many people in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, suffer from TMJ disorder. Many are unaware of the condition. The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the jaw, a powerful but delicate joint. Many things, such as misalignment, grinding teeth, degenerative disease, and oral injury, can damage the joint or inhibit proper functioning.
You might think that if you had a jaw disorder you would know it. However, each case is unique, with a wide range of possible symptoms. Some patients with TMJ disorder experience pain, clicking, grinding, or limited functionality in the jaw. Some notice no problems at all with their jaws. One of the characteristics of TMJ disorder is referred pain. That means the symptoms can be felt far from the cause. It can manifest as upper back pain, hearing problems, dizziness, or – very commonly – headaches.
A major branch of the trigeminal nerve runs through the jaw joint. This nerve is also responsible for much of the sensation in your head and face. When it is compressed or otherwise irritated, the result can range from mild headaches to debilitating migraine-like episodes. Many people notice that headaches occur most frequently in the mornings, and they may be exacerbated by eating, talking, or chewing gum.
Unfortunately, these headaches are often undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, by general physicians. Does this sound like your story?
- You have been diagnosed with migraines, but the prescribed pain medication does not work.
- Your doctor can’t find the source of your pain.
- Every doctor seems to give you a different diagnosis, and no help.
- You have been accused of hypochondria or exaggerating your symptoms.
At one time, TMJ disorder was largely misunderstood and ignored by the medical community. However, it has been getting more attention in recent years. A growing number of doctors are referring their chronic pain patients to TMJ dentists, such as Dr. Don Mungcal of Downtown Dental.
If you have been unable to find relief for your chronic headaches, facial pain, or similar symptoms, it’s time to think about a TMJ evaluation. Call 213-863-9464 today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Mungcal.