TMJ Treatment in Victorville
Understanding TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction)
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, commonly referred to as TMJ after the joint it affects, is a source of jaw pain and related difficulties for countless individuals. This misalignment or deterioration of the delicate joint that makes your jaw flexible can create both local and referred pain while also making it difficult to chew or even open your mouth. An underlying misalignment of the jaw can cause progressive damage, not only to your jaw joint but also to your teeth. If you're suffering from this condition, the good news is that you can get help at the office of Dr. Hattar Dental and Orthodontics with locations in Victorville, California.
The temporomandibular joint is the "hinge" that connects your lower skull to your skull. Instead of acting as a simple hinge, however, it allows for both up-and-down and side-to-side motion for thorough chewing of your food. The rounded ends of the joints, known as condyles, interface with a small disc of cushioning cartilage. This immensely capable joint is also extremely complex mechanically, meaning that it's vulnerable to a variety of threats. These may include:
- A sharp impact or other trauma to the jaw
- Congenital bite alignment problems
- Osteoarthritis (deterioration of the cartilage)
- Habitual tooth grinding or clenching due to stress or bite problems
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction produces so many different symptoms that it can be hard to diagnose. Typical symptoms include sharp pain or a dull ache in the jaw joint, stiffness that prevents you from opening your mouth wide, difficulty chewing, and clicking or popping sounds when you flex your jaw. Pain may also radiate to other parts of the mouth, face and head, and in some cases it can mimic toothache pain. Any of these symptoms is sufficient reason to pay a visit to our Victorville dentist and orthodontist, Dr. Hattar.
TMJ Treatment for Victorville Sufferers
TMJ treatment for our Victorville patients depends on the underlying cause of the disorder. Our dentist and orthodontist will note your symptoms and examine your mouth, paying particular attention to your bite alignment and any signs of enamel wear that might indicate bite problems or tooth grinding. If an acute dislocation or other injury is to blame for your TMJ, we can refer you to the appropriate doctor for treatment. In the meantime, we can recommend home care practices such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, ice packs and careful selection of foods.
If we notice tooth grinding and jaw alignment issues, we will fit you with a specialized night guard. Unlike night guards prescribed for ordinary bruxism, a TMJ night guard gently repositions your jaw and raises your bite to relieve joint strain. More severe cases may require corrective orthodontia or dental work to get your bite back in line for good. Generally, however, conservative techniques can relieve a great many cases of TMJ.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction can wreck your quality of life, but you don't have to put up with it. Call Dr. Hattar Dental and Orthodontics in Victorville at (760) 243-3595 for a consultation. We can help you experience safe, effective TMJ relief!