Alleviate TMJ Pain and Ensure Proper Function
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. Misalignment of the joint, damage to the jaw bone, or disease can lead to TMJ issues like jaw clicking, jaw locking, chronic headaches, and more. Our surgeons at Golden Foothills Oral, Facial, & Dental Implant Surgery treat TMJ disorders so that you can achieve a healthy jaw that functions properly and comfortably.
We use advanced 3D imaging technology to take detailed scans of your facial bones and soft tissues. Using this advanced technology, Dr. Liberty can detect and diagnose TMJ disorders and design a custom treatment plan for your specific needs. Contact us today in El Dorado Hills, Folsom, or Auburn, CA, for a consultation and to begin your journey to a healthier jaw.
What Causes TMJ Trouble?
There are many factors that can cause a TMJ disorder and sometimes, the exact cause of the issue is not known. Habitual teeth clenching or grinding can put stress on the jaw joint and cause tight jaw muscles. Some patients experience facial trauma or injury to the joint that may cause it to function improperly. Disease or other health conditions, such as arthritis, can cause a dull ache or stabbing pain in the jaw joint.
Regardless of the source of TMJ pain, many patients who have TMJ disorders experience similar symptoms of pain or clicking when opening the mouth. Some patients with severely progressed jaw joint issues may not be able to fully open the mouth, making it difficult to eat or speak.
Do I Have a TMJ Disorder?
You may have a TMJ disorder if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Jaw popping, clicking, or locking
- A grating noise when opening the mouth
- Pain when opening the mouth
- Stiff jaw muscles, especially after waking up
- Chronic headaches or neck pain
- The upper and lower teeth do not meet when biting
- Sensitive, loose, or worn down teeth
The most common sign of a TMJ disorder is pain, and treatment from an oral surgeon can help alleviate the pain and ensure the jaws function properly. Contact our practice for a consultation if you experience any of the symptoms above and we can evaluate your jaw joint for a TMJ disorder.
Treatment for TMJ Pain and Disorders
Our surgeons use advanced 3D scanning technology to take detailed images of the jaw joint. We use these images to diagnose TMJ disorders and create a detailed treatment plan with great precision. During your first visit, we will take CBCT scans and discuss your options for anesthesia if surgery is a part of your treatment plan.
When managing TMJ cases, we will try to avoid surgery unless absolutely necessary. The initial goals of treatment are to relieve discomfort and treat muscle spasms or joint pain. Many patients notice an improvement in their TMJ symptoms with non-surgical approaches but if these do not produce the desired results, surgery may be the next step in your treatment.
Non-Surgical TMJ Treatment
Non-surgical treatment options may include wearing a splint or night guard to prevent teeth grinding or starting physical therapy for the jaw muscles. An anterior positioning appliance, which is different from a standard night guard, will hold the jaw in a forward position, relieving pressure off the joint. Appliances also help prevent excessive wear on your teeth caused by misalignment. Muscle relaxants may help prevent discomfort during the day or night as prescribed by your doctor.
Managing TMJ Disorders With Self-Care
Self-care is also a highly effective approach to managing TMJ disorders. We can provide advice on activities to engage in or avoid to minimize jaw joint pain and prevent any issues from getting worse. Self-care to manage TMJ disorders could include:
- Practicing good posture, which helps facial muscles relax
- Exercising or stretching your jaw muscles
- Applying ice and heat
- Keeping your teeth apart when you are not eating
- Resting your jaw
- Sticking to soft foods
- Using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
Surgical TMJ Treatment
We will try to manage discomfort and strengthen the jaw muscles without surgery first. However, we also offer surgical options for patients with severe TMJ disorders. A surgical approach may be necessary if the jaw misalignment cannot be remedied with non-surgical methods, if the jaw is dislocated, or if jaw bone loss has occurred. These cases may require orthognathic surgery to reposition the jaw or open joint repair surgery.
TMJ Disorders in El Dorado Hills, Folsom, and Auburn, CA
Our oral surgeons manage simple to complex TMJ disorders and have a common goal of improving your oral health while reducing discomfort. If you have a TMJ disorder or any difficulties with the jaw joint, contact Golden Foothills Oral, Facial, & Dental Implant Surgery today. We will evaluate your oral health and temporomandibular joint and create your custom treatment plan.
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The New Standard of Oral Surgery and Patient Care
We are honored to be a part of the greater Sacramento area and help others improve their health and confidence through oral and maxillofacial surgery. Please contact us in El Dorado Hills, Folsom, or Auburn today to learn more about our services or to schedule your consultation.