TMJ Disorder involves problems within the temporomandibular joint, jaw or facial muscles. If you know what TMJ pain is, you may have heard that it can be one of the most awkward and painful conditions. The pain can arise in your jaw, ear, neck or even shoulder. This condition can be challenging to treat. However, Dr. Sarkis Aznavour, our Santa Clarita dentist, is highly skilled in TMJ treatments and will help you find the cause of your TMJ disorder to treat it effectively.
What is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome?
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a pain disorder of the jaw and the muscles for mastication caused by injury or damage to the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. It's what allows you to move your jaw, so you can talk, chew and yawn. Although TMJ is not life-threatening, it can be harmful to the quality of life of the patient because the symptoms can become chronic and severe to manage.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ often causes severe facial pain and jaw discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It may occur on one or both sides of the face, depending on the cause. TMJ can be associated with other symptoms such as:
- Tooth pain
- Earaches/Hearing problems/Tinnitus
- Tenderness and pain in other areas of the face, neck or shoulders
- Difficulty chewing
- Uncomfortable bite
- Clicking or popping sounds from jaw
- A tired feeling in your face
- Swelling of your face
- Blurred vision
What Causes TMJ?
The causes of TMJ are still unknown, some may directly lead to TMJ syndrome, and others may be the result of the disorder. Most dentists believe it emerges from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with parts of the joint. Causes may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Presence of Arthritis in the TMJ
- Use of orthodontic braces
- Gum chewing
- Stress or anxiety
How is TMJ treated?
Most symptoms of TMJ can react well to medications or stress reduction and relaxation techniques for pain relief. However, if those are not effective, Dr. Sarkis Aznavour, dentist in Santa Clarita, can provide temporary and long-term methods to alleviate the TMJ pain. These include the use of night-guards, physical therapy and laser therapy.
How is TMJ diagnosed?
There is no specific test to diagnose TMJ syndrome. There are conditions with similar symptoms to TMJ disorders, like toothaches, sinus problems, arthritis or gum disease. For this reason, it is necessary for your dentist in Santa Clarita to review your medical history carefully and conduct a physical clinical exam to find the cause of your symptoms.
If you are having TMJ pain, visit our Santa Clarita dentist for a comprehensive exam to help you diagnose the problem and start a treatment plan to alleviate the discomfort you are experiencing. We are always accepting new patients. Call (661) 210-4280 to schedule an appointment at our dental practice located at 24242 Lyons Avenue in the Santa Clarita, CA area.