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881 Alma Real Dr., Suite. T4, Pacific Palisades, CA
(424) 346-0955

TMJ Disorder


Top 5 Things to Know About TMJ Disorders

Your mouth performs several essential tasks every day. To properly function, your mouth relies on a series of different components. One of these components is your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. The TMJ is the "connection" point between your mandible and your skull. It is responsible for many different functions, including opening and closing your mouth, chewing, speaking, and yawning. If the joint becomes irritated (a condition known as TMJ disorder), it can make all of these functions very difficult, and extremely painful. Moreover, unlike other injuries, you can't rest your jaw. At Palisades Surgical Arts, we can provide you with the treatment you need to alleviate the pain in your TMJ, giving you back your quality of life.

What TMJ Disorder Is


TMJ disorder (or TMD) refers to some different issues that affect the temporomandibular joint and your jaw. These issues can cause you serious pain and can impact your normal, everyday functions. Issues that can lead to TMJ disorder include:
•  Misalignment of your teeth and/or jaw.
•  Bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of your teeth. These actions place excessive pressure on your jaw muscles and the joint, tiring them out.
•  Facial trauma. This includes injuries to the face near the jaw and joint, as well as temporary dislocation as a result of whiplash.
•  Arthritis, notably osteoarthritis (when your cartilage wears down) and rheumatoid arthritis (chronic inflammation of joints).

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder


TMJ disorder can be accompanied by various symptoms. Some of these symptoms, however, are not always immediately linked to an issue with your TMJ and can cause you to think that you have a completely different issue altogether. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
•  Severe pain in the TMJ, in the jaw, and the surrounding facial region.
•  Pain and difficulty with normal, everyday tasks, including eating and speaking.
•  Clicking, popping and grinding sounds and sensations in the joint.
•  Your jaw may temporarily lock and make you unable to open or close your mouth.
•  Chronic headaches and earaches.

Diagnosing TMJ Disorder


Model human skull displaying tmj at office of oral surgeon in Pacific Palisades, CA.Before we can begin treatment for your TMJ disorder, we need first to determine what is causing your issues. During your initial consultation, we will perform a thorough exam of the inside of your mouth, as well as the facial area around the jaw. We will check for alignment issues with your teeth and jaw. We will also take x-rays, which will allow us to see what is happening in the bone and at the joint. With a complete picture of your situation, we can figure out your specific issue and develop an effective treatment plan.

What treatments are available for TMJ disorder?


There are several different types of treatments available for TMJ disorder. Your specific treatment depends on your exact situation. Treatments include:
•  Prescription pain medication (such as muscle relaxers).
•  A night guard. Worn at night, a night guard both holds your jaw in proper alignment and provides a cushion against the pressure of clenching and grinding.
•  Botox injections. While these injections are commonly associated with cosmetic procedures, they can also be used to relax the muscles around the jaw, alleviating bruxism.
•  Orthodontic treatments. If your teeth and jaw are misaligned, orthodontic treatments can correct the alignment issues.
•  Oral surgery. Surgical procedures tend to be reserved as a last option when no other TMJ treatments work. Surgery may be used to correct bite issues, issues caused by trauma, and more.

Treating your TMJ disorder can alleviate the pain and other issues associated with the condition, restoring your oral health and your quality of life. Contact Palisades Surgical Arts at (424) 346-0955 to schedule your consultation today.
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Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


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