The jaw joints, which are scientifically known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), are among the most complex joints in the human body. The TMJ allows us to open our mouth and enables the lower jaw to move forward, backward and sideways. Many muscles, ligaments, discs and bones play their role in moving the jaw joints. If there is improper alignment between the upper and lower jaws, it can result in a complex set of problems known as TMJ disorder.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ disorder, which is mainly characterized by a sharp pain around the jaws or ears during speech or eating, can be caused by a variety of problems. Some of these problems include arthritis (or any other form of joint inflammation), jaw injury, poor bite or jaw alignment, and excessive tooth grinding or stress. In some cases, it can be difficult for a dentist to pinpoint the exact cause of TMD. However, there are specific TMJ treatment that can make a vast improvement.
Management of TMJ Disorders
Management of TMJ disorders mainly involves treating the underlying problem. When TMJ pain arises because of an improper posture caused by the misalignment of the neck and the back region, a massage can offer good relief. If the underlying cause of the TMJ pain is due to a poor bite, we may recommend braces or a surgical solution if the problem is complex. Generally, we recommend a night guard to prevent excessive pressure on your jaw joints caused by nighttime teeth grinding.
Dr. Ivan Ho will work thoroughly with you to find the underlying cause of your TMJ. We will then prepare a detailed, customized treatment plan to resolve your situation. Having more than 30 years of clinical experience, Dr. Ho has solved many complex TMJ problems for his patients, restoring their smiles and their ability to eat and speak without difficulty. Call Pro Smiles OC today at 949-880-6638 to schedule an appointment with our dentist and learn more about TMJ treatment in Laguna Hills, California.