The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. It’s a hard working joint that you use during biting, eating, and speaking. If the joint and surrounding muscles don’t work together correctly, it can lead to painful problems.
Signs of a TMJ Disorder
TMJ problems can be a result of excessive teeth clenching or grinding. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint and the piece of cartilage that cushions the joint can slip out of position. You may have a TMJ disorder if you experience any of the following:
- Popping or clicking in the joint
- Pain when opening or closing your mouth
- Jaw locking or tightening
- Waking up with stiff, sore muscles around your jaw
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Teeth meet differently or no longer touch when biting
TMJ Treatment in El Dorado Hills, Placerville, and Irvine, CA
Nonsurgical treatment options should always be considered first. These include physical therapy or sleeping with a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding. An anterior positioning appliance is worn at night to move your jaw forward, relieving pressure from the joint and aiding in disk repositioning.
TMJ surgery is a serious procedure that is only considered when the jaw is dislocated, has severe degeneration, or traditional appliances have failed to work. An arthroscopy is a small camera that allows your surgeon to see inside the TMJ for open joint repair. In severe cases, jaw surgery may be required to reposition the jaws.
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