TMJ Specialist

Did you know that according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research between 5-12% of adults in the United States are dealing with TMJ issues? Virginia H. Ellis, DDS Dental Corp. located in Orinda, California offers valuable solutions for TMJ and the uncomfortable symptoms that often come with it. You deserve to find relief from your jaw pain, neck pain, headaches, and other symptoms of TMJ. Call the friendly office staff or schedule online today.

What is TMJ?

TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) involves problems with your temporomandibular joint. Your jaw hinge joint connects your skull to your jawbone and allows you to chew food, yawn, and talk.

TMJ can affect either both sides or just one side of your face and it’s often uncomfortable or painful. TMJ can last for many years or it can be temporary.

What causes TMJ?

It isn’t clear what causes TMJ and several factors might play a role, such as:

  • Trauma, accident, or injury to your jaw, head, or neck (whiplash)
  • Stress that tightens the facial muscles and the jaw through teeth grinding and clenching
  • Inflammation from a number of medical conditions, such as arthritis 

Teeth grinding and clenching usually happens at night while you sleep due to stress and anxiety, so you might not even be aware of it.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

The main symptoms of TMJ are moderate to severe pain, soreness, and discomfort in the jaw hinge joint and the surrounding area.

You might also experience other TMJ symptoms, such as: 

  • Grating, popping, or clicking sounds when you move your jaw
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulders and neck
  • Toothaches
  • Swelling in your face around your jaw area
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty when trying to open your mouth wide
  • Locked jaw
  • Tenderness or pain in the hinge joint
  • Dizziness, earaches, and headaches

You might also have ringing in your ears (tinnitus) and trouble hearing.

How is TMJ treated?

Virginia H. Ellis, DDS Dental Corp. provides various treatments for TMJ, depending on the severity and cause. Before recommending treatments, your dentist assesses your jaw joints for pain and tenderness and listens for popping, clicking, or grating sounds. Your provider takes time to evaluate your bite and the functioning of your jaw.

The Virginia H. Ellis, DDS Dental Corp. team might recommend a nightguard or splint to prevent teeth clenching and grinding. Other treatments, such as healthy lifestyle changes and medications (usually anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants) may also be recommended. 

Dental work might be necessary in some cases. It usually involves replacing missing teeth or dental treatments like braces, caps, or bridges that work to correct your bite and balance your biting surfaces.

Don’t just deal with the persistent pain and discomfort of TMJ when there are highly effective solutions available at Virginia H. Ellis, DDS Dental Corp. For more information, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

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