know the signs
What is tMJ/TMD?
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ/TMD) is a condition characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain, grinding teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears. The symptoms of TMJ are debilitating and can greatly interfere with everyday life. At Dodds Dental, we want our patients to be happy and healthy, so our Long Beach dentists diagnose and treat TMJ/TMD with mouthguards and realignment options. Call us today to set up a consultation.
the root of the problem
what causes tMJ/TMD?
The most common cause of TMJ/TMD is the misalignment of the teeth, often called “bad bite.” Patients who suffer from this disorder often report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness. TMJ/TMD can also be caused by an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage. If you notice jaw pain, headaches, or dizziness, give us a call today to set up a consultation with Dr. Dustin or Dr. Emily.
with custom night guards
Most cases of TMJ/TMD can be treated with a custom night guard. These dental appliances are specially molded to stop teeth from grinding during the night. A bite relationship analysis may be recommended by the dentist to determine if this is the best option for you. Dr. Dustin and Dr. Emily may also suggest relaxation techniques that will lessen the effects of stress and result in alleviated pain.
Dealing with jaw pain
Will pain subside on its own?
TMJ/TMD can be caused by a wide variety of conditions and issues, and depending on the source of your condition, you may need treatment to get back to a pain-free jaw.
For example, some patients may develop TMJ/TMD from overuse of their jaw. If you have been chewing a lot of gum, for instance, you may simply need to stop chewing gum and let your jaw heal on its own. However, if your TMJ/TMD is caused by an issue like arthritis, a direct injury to your face and temporomandibular joint, or by nighttime teeth grinding, it may not go away on its own.
As a rule, we recommend that you consult with Dr. Dustin or Dr. Emily Dodds in Long Beach to discover the cause of your TMJ/TMD. If the issue appears to be minor, you may be able to recover on your own. But if your TMJ/TMD is the result of a more complex problem, you’ll be able to get the professional help you need to restore your jaw and get rid of your pain and discomfort.
Easing Jaw Pain
If you have serious pain from TMJ/TMD and are looking for ways to control your pain and discomfort before your appointment at Dodds Dental, here are a few steps you can take:
- First, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like Tylenol, Advil or Motrin to help reduce inflammation in your joints and ease your jaw pain.
- You can also use alternating heat packs and cold packs. Apply a cold pack to your jaw for about 10 minutes, and follow it up with a heat pack for about 5 minutes.
- Changing your diet can also help with jaw pain. For example, eating soft foods like yogurt or pudding means you won’t have to chew as much compared to eating tough, fibrous foods.
- It’s also a good idea to avoid any major jaw movements that may make your pain worse, such as opening your mouth widely to yawn, yell, or sing. The wider your jaw opens, the more stress is put on your temporomandibular joint.
Headaches & TMJ
Does TMJ Cause Migraines?
In some cases, TMJ/TMD can cause serious, intense headaches. Usually, these headaches are accompanied by additional symptoms like tight muscles in the jaw or face, pain in the jaw or face, and restricted movement of the jaw. If you have been having frequent headaches and are experiencing symptoms related to your jaw, it’s quite possible that your issue is being caused by TMJ/TMD. To find out, you should schedule an appointment at Dodds Dental right away.