TMJ Treatment in La Jolla, Del Mar, & Pacific Beach
Jaw pain, headaches and other symptoms associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are an unnecessary but all-too-common problem for thousands of people. TMJ-related symptoms can wreak havoc on a person’s life, making it difficult or uncomfortable to perform everyday functions like talking and chewing.
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bones, located on each side of the head. Since these joints control the movement and function of the jaw, TMJ disorders can also affect the mouth and teeth and cause residual problems in these areas.
Our team of experts can help you to find relief from pain and other limitations caused by TMJ disorder.
Would You Benefit from TMJ Treatment?
You may benefit from TMJ treatment if you experience the following common symptoms of a TMJ disorder:
- Jaw pain or feeling of stiffness in your jaw
- Jaw clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening your mouth
- Jaw locking or catching when opening your mouth
- Misaligned bite (when your teeth don’t meet up properly when you bite)
- Frequent headaches and/or neck aches
- Ringing in your ears or hearing problems
- Broken, worn or damaged teeth (due to bite problems)
- Swelling on the side of your face
TMJ Treatments Available
There are many possible causes of TMJ disorders, including bruxism (teeth grinding), stress (causing you to tighten or clench your jaw and teeth) and arthritis. For some patients, there is no known cause. Regardless of the cause, we offer a range of TMJ treatments for our patients, and can recommend the most effective treatment to suit each individual’s needs.
Medication. Muscle relaxants, sedatives and other oral medications used to relax muscles and relieve pain may be prescribed, often in conjunction with other treatments.
Injections. Trigger-point or Botox injections may be used to relax the jaw joints and facial muscles and relieve pain in the area.
Mouth guards. These oral appliances are often recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth, which is one of the causes of TMJ problems. These mouthpieces are made of medical-grade plastic and fit over the upper and lower teeth so that they don’t touch and are in a correct position to achieve a properly aligned bite. Depending on the patient’s needs, a splint (worn both day and night) or a night guard (worn only at night, during sleep) may be recommended.
Dental work to fix bite problems. As TMJ and other jaw problems are often caused (or exacerbated) by a “bad bite” (where the upper and lower teeth aren’t properly aligned with the mouth closed), dental work may be recommended to restore a balanced bite. This may involve using orthodontic appliances or tooth restorations.
Alternative therapies. A number of therapies are available that relieve pain and improve mobility in the jaw. These non-invasive therapies include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which uses low-level electrical currents on the jaw joints and facial muscles. Ultrasound therapy applies a deep heat therapy to the jaw area. Radio wave therapy and low-level laser therapies offer the same muscle-relaxing and pain relief effects, using radio waves and focused low-level laser light (respectively).
Surgery. Typically only recommended when other treatment options have been exhausted, surgery that fixes the structural problems of the jaw is also an option.
Get Personalized Care from Top-Rated TMJ Experts
If you are experiencing jaw pain or any other symptoms related to a TMJ disorder, let our team of experts provide you with a thorough examination and then discuss your treatment options with you. To learn more about TMJ and the treatments we offer, call our practice today to schedule a personal consultation with one of our dental professionals.