TMJ Treatment in La Jolla
TMJ, or “temporomandibular joint syndrome” affects millions of people across America, with about 12 percent of the population living with symptoms. TMJ (sometimes referred to as TMD) presents a range of unpleasant symptoms, including:
- Pain in jaw joint
- Difficulty swallowing
- Facial pain
- Chewing issues
- Popping, clicking or grinding when opening mouth
- Jaw that locks
- Buzzing or ringing in the ears
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Tingling sensation in arms
- Limited range of jaw motion
TMJ: Checking Bite
TMJ often includes bite problems. The way your teeth work together, upper and lower, is called occlusion. A “malocclusion” is a condition in which the teeth no longer function as they should when biting. When the teeth are in this condition, you may experience sensitivity, a sore jaw, broken fillings, or areas of the teeth surfaces that have been ground down. Teeth that have moved out of place and are causing problems may have even created gaps or are crooked. One of the first issues we evaluate during our La Jolla TMJ treatment is the condition of your bite to determine whether you have a malocclusion.
The first step in our San Diego TMJ treatment is a full evaluation of the problem. To identify the cause, at La Jolla Dental Care, we employ various investigative tests, including a hands-on observation of jaw motion, along with a CT scan and digital, low-radiation X-rays. Once the problem is identified, a treatment plan is developed to treat and resolve the condition. The various La Jolla TMJ treatments we offer include:
- TMJ splints: Occlusal splints are manufactured from a hard acrylic and fit over the surface of the affected teeth. This treatment is geared to correct the bite and contact between upper and lower teeth. The splint also protects the teeth from further damage and encourages normal muscle function, working to create the correct relationship in the teeth when biting. The splint can also protect the teeth during sleep if grinding teeth is an issue.
- Bite adjustment: The dental arts have advanced over the years, and bite adjustment can be achieved without surgical intervention in many cases. A custom night guard may be effective. Some patients may need a dental procedure in which certain tooth surfaces are altered so the teeth fit together correctly.
- Implants: a customized implant can be manufactured to suit the facial anatomy of the patient. A lost or damaged tooth frequently impacts the function of the other teeth, disrupting the natural bite. TMJ is often associated with the loss of a tooth or teeth, which can be fully resolved with an implant, restoring the healthy function of bite, teeth, and jaw.
- Surgery: TMJ can often be successfully treated without the need for surgery. In some cases, this is the most appropriate option, and will be advised when other more conservative treatments will not resolve the problem. At La Jolla Dental Care, we seek the least invasive, most effective treatment so our patients can avoid the need for a surgical procedure. For very extreme cases, a procedure can realign the jaw surgically. Injections can be made to irrigate the jaw joint, scar tissue removed, and then lubricants, steroids, or medications injected to ease joint pain.
TMJ Resolution at La Jolla Dental Care
Dr. Charles Briscoe has over 32 years serving the San Diego area and helping his patients have a healthy, attractive smile. As an award-winning dentist, he has built his practice around personal attention and care, along with the use of the most advanced dental techniques. If you believe you may have TMJ and are suffering any of the symptoms, it is important that you are treated as early as possible.
Treating TMJ as Early as Possible is Important to Your Dental and Oral Health
Unfortunately, without TMJ treatment, your bite problems are likely to damage your teeth, and can potentially lead to a range of other more difficult dental and oral problems. We invite you to visit our dental clinic and discover a truly unique practice that is warm, friendly, and where the most advanced treatments and procedures are available.
Ready to find out about TMJ and what treatment you may need? Let us evaluate your condition and advise you how to restore a healthy bite and be free of the uncomfortable or painful symptoms of TMJ.