Jaw pain, headaches, discomfort through the neck and shoulders, unexplained dizzy spells, or clicking sounds when a person opens his or her mouth could all leave a patient uncomfortable, in pain, and confused about the cause. He or she may try medication to numb the pain or alternative medications to try to get it to stop, only to have it return a few days later.
Often the cause of any or all of these symptoms is TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, a condition caused by misalignment of the joint that attaches the lower jaw to the base of the skull. Many things can cause damage to the temporomandibular joint. For example, overuse of the jaw by excessive gum chewing, biting fingernails, or other habits that strain the jaw; teeth that are misaligned and keep your jaw from closing correctly; damaged, sore, or extracted teeth that make you use only one side of your mouth to chew; or some diseases such as arthritis which cause joints to deteriorate. Additionally, some habits that occur subconsciously or while individuals are sleeping such as grinding or clenching of the teeth can put stress on the joints and cause muscles to become tense.
TMJ can be hard to diagnose, as many of the symptoms are treated individually, such as headaches. No blood test can be taken, symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient, and x-rays can be inconclusive. However, Dr. Mungcal of Downtown Dental in Los Angeles has a wealth of specialized training related to TMJ disorders. He and his team have helped many patients find comfort. Often treatment is as simple as wearing an oral appliance or bite guard while sleeping to give the jaw rest and support.
If you’re suffering from pain that can’t be explained, talk to Dr. Mungcal. He will determine if you have TMJ and find the right treatment to give you relief and get you back to enjoying your daily activities. To schedule an appointment, call today. Downtown Dental is the name you can trust and be confident in with dental health, implants, Invisalign, TMJ, cosmetic, sedation in Downtown Los Angeles.