May 16, 2016
Have you been experiencing jaw pain and feeling popping sounds when you move your jaw? Maybe you’ve been having headaches? The jaw symptoms and headaches may actually be related. TMJ disorders cause a wide range of symptoms, including soreness, popping, and headaches. A TMJ disorder occurs when pain and discomfort occur in the temporomandibular joint where the jaw connects to the skull. Usually the root cause is our facial muscles, because 90% of the pain we have has a muscular origin. While many believe the symptoms only impact the jaw joint, symptoms can radiate to the head, neck and even shoulders. If you’re experiencing symptoms of the disorder, you’ll need to see Dr. Block for TMJ treatment, in Fremont, to help identify the underlying cause for effective treatment.
What are the Causes of TMJ?
The causes of TMJ are quite diverse, however among the leading causes of TMJ (TMD) is a poor bite. The way the teeth come together is vitally important. If the bite is not in a physiologically “comfortable” position, the muscles that move the jaw will be “working overtime” to get the teeth in the correct place where the muscles can relax. We do that by clenching and grinding our teeth until that comfortable place is found. Often times the physiologial bite is found, however the teeth are destroyed from years of grinding away valuable tooth structure. In addition, arthritis, trauma to the joint and other causes are not uncommon.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders almost always include pain and discomfort of the joint. You may even experience facial swelling and soreness of the facial muscles. The jaw may be difficult to open and close, possibly even locking into an open or closed position. It’s not uncommon to hear or feel a popping, grinding, or clicking sound when the jaw is open and closed. Due to these complications, it may become difficult to eat and speak.
Other symptoms of TMJ can involve frequent headaches. Migraines can also be a symptom that is quite common in TMJ problems. You may even develop tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and general ear congestion or a full feeling in the ear. Your neck and shoulders may become sore and painful as well. You could also have tingling or numbness in your fingertips. These are just a partial list of TML symptoms.
How to Treat TMJ?
To properly treat the disorder, you’ll need to visit Dr. Jim Block in Fremont. Your dentist will perform an evaluation and use CT imaging to learn more about your jaw’s function to determine the underlying cause. Once the condition has been diagnosed, treatment can begin to relieve the pain and discomfort while enhancing the function of the jaw.
James Block Dentistry offers a wide range of services for TMJ treatment in Fremont. We use neuromuscular dentistry to better understand how your jaw functions. Neuromuscular dentistry involves using diagnostic tools to learn more about the function of the craniofacial muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues. With this keen insight into your jaw’s function, we are able to use low frequency TENSing (a physical therapy technique) to help relax the facial muscles. The FDA-approved therapy will help to create your unique physiologic bite to enhance your jaw’s function AND alleviate many of the symptoms you’re experiencing now. By finding that relaxed position, we can start phase 1 of treatment, which is to manufacture a custom made orthotic for you. This orthotic is a “test appliance” to be worn 24×7 to keep your bite in that relaxed comfortable position. Phase 2 of treatment is for people that want to have this bite permanently fixed so that they are out of pain and can function normally. There are a few choices in how this is accomplished.
At our dental office in Fremont, we diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. If you’re ready to relieve the pain and discomfort, call our office today at (510) 246-3754 to learn more about TMJ treatment in Fremont. We’re here to see you smile with the TMJ therapy you need for maximum movement, function, and comfort.
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