Do you have chronic pain in your jaw, or difficulty opening and closing your mouth? If so, you might be suffering from TMJ or TMD, a painful condition that affects up to 10 million Americans. Silva A. Arejian, DDS, is a highly skilled dentist who provides a range of TMJ treatments at her state-of-the-art practice in the Downtown neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Schedule a visit by phone or online today, and find out more about how Dr. Arejian can ease your TMJ pain.
TMJ is a condition that prevents the muscles and joints in your jawbone from working properly. It stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the sliding and hinge-like mechanism that connects your skull and lower jawbone and enables complex movements like chewing, speaking, and yawning.
The condition is often called a temporomandibular disorder or TMD, but TMJ is a common term for it.
TMJ can produce a number of different symptoms, including:
The severity of TMJ symptoms ranges widely. In some cases, the condition is just a mild annoyance, while in others, it can be so bad that you can’t open your mouth.
The precise cause of TMJ isn’t always clear, but some of the conditions that seem to commonly lead to TMJ include:
Teeth grinding (or bruxism) also frequently leads to TMJ. When you habitually grind or clench your teeth, it puts extra strain on the joints and muscles in your jaw, which can impair their proper functioning.
Dr. Arejian is an expert in TMJ and provides a full spectrum of treatments at her practice. She believes in starting with the least invasive methods first, so that you can find relief with the most conservative treatment possible.
In the beginning stages of TMJ treatment, Dr. Arejian recommends lifestyle changes, like switching over to a soft foods diet and avoiding foods that are particularly difficult to chew (such as nuts and tough meats). She can assess and analyze your diet to help make it more TMJ-friendly. She also teaches you how to massage the muscles in your jaw without further irritating your tissues.
If your TMJ doesn’t resolve with conservative treatments, Dr. Arejian can provide you with a custom-fitted night guard. Nightguards are particularly effective in treating TMJ that’s caused by teeth grinding and clenching. They’re made from an impression of your mouth and fit snugly over your teeth, like a retainer.
The upper and lower portion of these soft plastic night guards are attached, which prevents your teeth from touching, making grinding and clenching impossible.
If these treatments still don’t alleviate your TMJ symptoms, Dr. Arejian can discuss more aggressive treatment methods, like injections and surgery.
Call Silva A. Arejian, DDS, today to schedule your TMJ consultation, or use the convenient online booking tool.