The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jawbone to the bones of your skull. This is the joint that is responsible for the movement of your mouth. The temporomandibular joint disorder is any joint-related disorder of your jaw and the muscles of your face. It can cause extreme pain to the TMJs, inhibiting smooth jaw movement and restricting the patient's ability to eat, chew, and talk without pain.

What are the Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

The cause of the TMJ disorder (otherwise termed TMD) is hard to identify and determine, which may lead to its misdiagnosis as the condition exhibits various symptoms. Your TMD may have caused due to a variety of reasons. It could have developed over the years due to an injury, teeth grinding, damaged cartilage, trauma, or accident of the TMJs. Patients who are sufferers of TMD may also tend to clench or grind their teeth.

What are the Symptoms of TMD?

The signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder would include:

  • Experiencing pain in and around the ears
  • Tender jaws muscles
  • Clicking and popping noises in the jaw
  • Extreme pain in any one of the TMJs or even both
  • Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth
  • Pain when yawning or chewing
  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Jaw joints that feel as if they are “locked,” “stuck,” or they “go out.”

How is TMD Diagnosed?

The diagnosis for TMD would involve an oral examination where the dentist would check the patient's jawbone for pain, tenderness, pop sounds, or grafting sounds. The dentist would also ensure whether the patient has a properly functioning jawbone. The patient will also be checked for bite problems, misalignments, or facial tenderness.

To look closer at the patient's jaws for TMJ-related problems, the dentist would take X-rays. The dentist would also recommend an MRI or a CT. Once your case is diagnosed, the dentist will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

What is the Treatment for TMD?

TMD treatment can include:

Medication - The dentist would recommend painkillers and muscle relaxants to relax the jaw bone and the muscles around it. Stress is a common factor behind teeth grinding. When consumed in low doses, muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety drugs can help reduce or control pain.

Splints or Night Guards - Splints or night guards are mouthpieces that would fit over your upper and lower teeth. These oral appliances can lessen the effects of clenching or grinding as they help reposition your teeth to the correct position.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of TMD and its treatment methods by scheduling an appointment at Patel Dental Care, a trusted dental clinic in Chino, California. Dr. Rakesh Patel, D.D.S., and his team of experts are committed to providing the best dental care possible. Experience top-quality care from Dr. Rakesh Patel, D.D.S., at Patel Dental Care, where your dental health is our priority.

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form. 5263 Riverside Drive Chino, California 91710 Phone: 909-628-8109 Monday - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Wednesday - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Thursday - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Friday, Saturday & Sunday - Closed

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