Do you experience pain, clicking, or popping in your jaw when you chew or speak? Does your jaw lock, or does your bite feel “off”? These are just a few of the warning signs of TMJ disorder, a condition that can produce pain in areas away from the jaw itself. We approach treatment with an individualized program in our Downtown LA practice, first determining the underlying cause of TMJ pain so that we know what issues to address.
Although TMJ disorder can cause a great deal of discomfort, even to the point of chronic tension in the neck and shoulders, or migraine headaches, our focus does not lie solely in reducing pain. In order to treat painful joints effectively, proper function needs to be restored. TMJs, the joints that lie at the back of the jaw, attached to the skull, are used daily, almost constantly. As such, they are susceptible to mechanical problems. These joints do not simply stop working due to overuse. They are designed for the precise movements necessary for speaking, smiling, chewing, and so on. They are also intended to last a lifetime.
Dr. Mungcal looks at the various factors that may impact the strength and capability of the temporomandibular joints. A comprehensive examination is completed, considering mobility of the joint, alignment, and bite force. In some instances, tooth grinding or clenching may be a trigger that causes persistent irritation to these vital joints. Sometimes, a misaligned bite creates the problem. Through advanced examination, Dr. Mungcal is able to determine the best approach to treating TMJ to restore comfort and function.
When grinding or clenching, called bruxism is apparent, treatment with a custom-made mouth guard may relieve the pressure on joints as well as teeth, preserving oral structure. Oral appliances may also be designed for wear during sleep, and provide a wonderful non-surgical solution to TMJ dysfunction. Additional recommendations for stress reduction and healthy eating habits may be made as well. Bite issues may be addressed with appropriate orthodontic treatment, or restorative care when needed.
Once we understand the specific needs of your smile, our team goes to work designing the ideal treatment plan. Our oral appliances are fabricated from professional-grade, comfortable plastic that fits over the arch to protect teeth as well as joints by relieving muscle tension. Oral appliances have proven to be an effective non-surgical treatment for TMJ disorder.
We are happy to offer neuromuscular treatment for the relief of TMJ dysfunction. Our team is extensively trained and highly experienced in providing this specialized form of care. Contact Downtown Dental to find relief from TMJ dysfunction.