TMJ Treatment Redondo Beach
Comprehensive TMJ Treatment and Diagnosis
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder develops when your jaw joints become damaged or inflamed. The disorder, which is also known as TMD, can cause a myriad of symptoms, and it can greatly affect your quality of life. At Redondo Beach Dental Group, we have doctors who have many years of experience with TMD. We have a thorough understanding of TMD causes, symptoms, and treatments. We recognize the connection between TMD and sleep disorders, your bite, muscles, headaches, and can address these underlying causes of TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are the hinges on either side of your jaw. These two joints are complex, allowing you to open and close your mouth and move it side to side. They are surrounded by an extensive system of muscles and ligaments. Inside, soft cushioning discs help to protect the joints from damage.
However, because these joints are always in use, they are subject to consistent pressure. As a result, the nearby tissues can become inflamed. The soft inner disc can slip out of place, causing the joints to grind against one another. Often, TMD is a result of dental misalignment or damaged teeth. If your bite is imbalanced, it can put tremendous stress on your jaw joints.
Dr. May describes how treating temporomandibular joint disorders at Redondo Beach Dental Group, located in Redondo Beach, CA, is different from other dental practices. They use advanced technology to analyze the joint and help diagnose the problem. They also have a great deal of experience with TMJ disorders and offer many options for Redondo Beach patients.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
If you suffer from TMD, you could experience a diverse range of symptoms. Common effects of this condition include:
- Jaw pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- A clicking noise when you open your jaw
- An inability to open or close your jaw fully
- A ringing in your ears
Diagnosis and Bite Analysis
According to research, 30 percent of patients with TMD also have some form of sleep disorder. Before beginning treatment, we will conduct diagnostic tests to determine the precise causes of your TMD. First, we will perform a full sleep assessment to rule out sleep apnea and any airway obstruction. We will also conduct a neuro-muscular workup to examine your jaw alignment and the force of your bite. This workup will consist of three separate services:
- TENS: A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device sends mild electric impulses to your jaw muscles and causes involuntary movement. This enables Dr. Stalley to examine the natural movement of your facial muscles. It will also allow us to see if one or more muscles are underused.
- K7 Computer Bite Analysis: A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device sends mild electric impulses to your jaw muscles and causes involuntary movement. This enables us to relax your muscles and to examine the natural movement of your jaw muscles.
- Bite impressions: By taking impressions and making dental models, we can gain a better understanding of how your teeth fit together. We can also look for signs of imbalance or dental damage to your teeth and how this possibly relates your TMD problems.
Various Treatments for TMD
Once we have gained a comprehensive understanding of the movement and balance of your bite, we can design your unique treatment plan. This could be as simple as removing an interference in your bite, or it could involve creating a custom orthotic to realign your jaw, help balance your jaw muscles and alleviate any muscle pain or joint pressure. We will create special jaw records using our K7 computer that measures your muscle activity. This information is used along with models of your upper and lower jaw to ensure that your orthotic fits comfortably and achieves the proper bite and muscle balance. In most cases, you will simply need to wear your orthotic device to alleviate any TMD related discomfort. After your symptoms go away there might be the need to make future corrections to place your TMJ, bite, and or muscles in this new comfortable position.
Alleviate Your Jaw Tension Today
If you suffer from jaw pain or additional TMD symptoms, relief may be a phone call away. Contact our office in the Redondo Beach area to schedule your first consultation.