Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is more common than you might think. The United States Department of Health & Human Services estimates that more than 10 million Americans live with this uncomfortable condition.
If you have recurring jaw pain or facial pain, you might be one of them. In fact, two joints in your face could be to blame for a wide range of unwelcome symptoms.
At our office in Downtown, Los Angeles, Silva A. Arejian, DDS, specializes in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. So you can better understand if your temporomandibular joints might be causing your problems — as well as your options for finding relief — we’ve built this brief guide.
The temporomandibular joint and symptoms of TMJ disorders
TMJ disorders stem from a problem with one or both temporomandibular joints. These joints are located on either side of your face and they connect your jawbone to your skull. You might not think much about these joints (until they cause you pain), but they’re critical in your ability to talk and eat.
If either of these joints or their supporting muscles aren’t working properly, you develop a TMJ disorder. This is an uncomfortable condition characterized by a range of symptoms, including:
- Jaw pain
- Noise when you move your jaw, like grinding or clicking
- Tenderness on the sides of your face
- Ear pain
- Trouble chewing or biting or pain when you chew or bite
- Trouble opening or closing your mouth
- Aching pain across your face
If you live with some or all of these symptoms, you may have a TMJ disorder. Visit Dr. Arejian to find out.
Diagnosing and treating TMJ
At our office, Dr. Arejian can diagnose your TMJ disorder, working with you to identify the cause. TMJ disorders can be caused by anything from poor posture to an improper diet. Stress and grinding your teeth can also contribute to TMJ problems.
No matter the cause of your joint issues, Dr. Arejian partners with you to find relief. She starts with conservative treatment, like massage for the surrounding muscles and diet adjustments to take pressure off your TMJ.
If those treatments aren’t effective, she can fit you with a night guard or explore injection-based treatment or surgery with you. She works to help you find the least invasive, most effective treatment possible.