Trusted TMJ Therapy in Newbury Park, CA
Do you know anything about the important triangular-shaped joints located on either side of your head just in front of your ears? Made of cartilage and muscle, these temporopmandibular joints, TMJs, should move smoothly whenever you need to eat or speak. When working properly and in good condition, they join your mandibular jaw and the temporal bone (your skull), which allows you to close and open your mouth with ease. However, there are a number of factors that can interfere with the proper function of this joint. Namely, extreme stress or a malocclusion—an improper bite— can cause the temporomandibular joints to dysfunction, thus exposing nerve endings that send pain signals to your brain.
Managing Stress to Help Your Jaw Rest
The temporomandibular joint is not only susceptible to psychological and emotional stress, but physical stress on the body can also be expressed in your jaw. Yes, the temporomandibular joint is primarily influenced by the structure of your bite and the workings of the muscles in your jaw. However, just a little bit more stress than you are accustomed to, a bit less sleep each night, added to a change in your bite, and the whole system might be thrown out of balance.
The resulting TMJ dysfunction, or TMD as it is most commonly referred to, can create a variety of symptoms, including:
- A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your jaw
- Pain in jaw
- A feeling of stiffness in jaw, or the sense that it is locked
- The feeling of an earache, but no sign of infection
- Swelling on the side of the face where you have pain
- Sensitive teeth, but no indication of decay or cavities
Unfortunately, because we live in a stressful society, TMD is not an uncommon condition. Therefore, at Paraiso Family Dental and Orthodontics, Dr. Gary Chaffee and his staff take the time at each one of your regular dental cleanings and exams to check for signs of TMJ dysfunction. If we find a problem, then we will work with you to reverse the affects of the condition, shield you teeth from damage if any has been sustained and alleviate the underlying malocclusion if one is present.
Custom-Fitted Oral Appliances
At Paraiso Family Dental and Orthodontics, TMJ therapy in Newbury Park may involve prescribing a custom-fitted oral bite appliance that you can wear at night. This bite guard not only protects your teeth from possible teeth grinding—a common occurrence among people with TMD—but it will also help to realign your bite. Dr. Chaffee may also suggest a number of ways to reduce stress, including meditation or yoga classes.
In addition, we also recommend certain steps you can take daily to help relieve the pain and discomfort of TMJ:
- Don’t chew gum, hard candy or sticky foods
- Take small bites of food when you eat
- Chew on both sides of your mouth
- Eat a well-balanced diet to help the TMJ heal more speedily
- Maintain good posture
- Massage the jaw and temple to stimulate blood flow to the area, which can help relieve pain
- Alternate hot and cold compresses for 20 minutes on the side of your face
- Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for discomfort
For TMJ Therapy, Call Our Newbury Park Dental Office Today
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, then please call Paraiso Family Dental and Orthodontics in Newbury Park, CA. We want to help you get out of pain and back on track.