Jaw pain and discomfort are often signs of a serious dental issue. At Personalee Dental in Woodland Hills, California, James Lee, DDS, and the team utilize state-of-the-art technology to treat jaw dysfunction related to TMJ and TMD. These common jaw issues can affect your ability to chew, speak, and bite comfortably. To learn more about the TMJ and TMD treatment options available at Personalee Dental, call the office or book an appointment online now.
Before discussing the right TMJ and TMD treatment for you, it’s important to understand the difference between TMJ and TMD.
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. Each side of your jaw has one of these joints. They act as sliding hinges that connect your lower jaw to your skull. Your TMJ works with surrounding muscles, tendons, and tissues to move your jaw comfortably when you chew, speak, smile, or bite.
Any problem with your TMJ or the muscles surrounding it is called a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the three types of TMD are:
Muscular TMD stems from tightness and dysfunction in the muscles surrounding your TMJ. Since these muscles help control your jaw function, they can cause pain and soreness when you open and close your mouth. Stress, anxiety, and depression can trigger a muscular TMD flare-up.
Damage to the TMJ is another common cause of TMD. A dislocated jaw that hasn’t healed properly or an injury to the joint can cause many jaw-related problems, including pain, popping, and clicking in the TMJ.
Degenerative conditions, such as arthritis, can cause joint inflammation anywhere in your body. Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that causes the soft, flexible cartilage surrounding your joints to deteriorate. Once the condition advances, it can cause chronic jaw pain, pain when chewing, and difficulty opening your mouth.
Determining the cause of your TMD is the first step in treating your condition. However, positioning your jaw in a comfortable position can help relieve pain and stress from your TMJ. To improve your bite and relieve pressure from your jaw joints, Dr. Lee and the team offer custom-made night guards and splints.
The office has a Medit 3-D digital scanner and printer onsite to create the perfect dental appliances for you. An intraoral scanner allows the team to take highly accurate impressions of your mouth to address deficiencies in your bite. With an onsite 3-D printer, the team can fabricate your device at their office.
A night guard is a mouthpiece that fits over your top or bottom teeth while you sleep. Custom-made, the device holds your jaw in a comfortable position and prevents teeth grinding to protect your teeth from wear-and-tear.
Another common treatment for TMD is a splint. The device gently pushes your lower jaw forward to relieve pressure from your joints.
To learn more about TMJ and TMD treatment, call Personalee Dental or schedule an appointment online today.