TMJ Disorder

TMJ Disorder

Our oral structure contains more than our teeth, tongue, and jawbone. At the back of the jaw, where this structure is connected to the skull, are our temporomandibular joints. We call these TMJs for short. These joints, located on each side of the jaw, are responsible for the variety of movements our jaws complete on a daily basis, such as pivoting from side to side, sliding forward, or opening and closing. All of the functions of the mouth incorporate the TMJs, as well as the surrounding tendons, ligaments, and muscles. We rarely give thought to these joints, even when they may be the cause of certain problems.

Some people experience TMJ disorder, where the joints at the back of the jaw become dysfunctional. This condition, which we treat in our San Diego holistic dentistry practice, involves the joints and the surrounding structures. TMJ disorder may involve:

  • Stressed TMJs stemming from bite imbalance.
  • Adaptation of the muscles and ligaments, resulting in undue stretching of these supportive structures.
  • The development of trigger points in the head, neck, and face, resulting in general muscle tension and headaches.

People typically associate TMJ disorder with popping or clicking in the jaw. While these symptoms are common with the condition, they do not necessarily signal its existence. Many people experience popping or clicking, but never develop TMJ disorder. Likewise, there are those who develop TMJ disorder and symptoms such as chronic headaches, generalized facial pain, or muscle tension, who never hear a pop or click. Symptoms of this condition may actually extend beyond what one might imagine, including earaches, neck soreness, and sleep disturbances.

The symptoms experienced in TMJ disorder may originate from a variety of factors. For some, it may be a degenerative disease, or tooth grinding that causes stress on the temporomandibular joints. In some cases, it could be something as simple as chewing gum too often. At the heart of many cases, however, is an imbalance in the relationship between the upper and lower arches.

At the La Jolla Center for Holistic Dentistry, we take a whole-body approach to the treatment of TMJ disorder.

Dr. Chen incorporates various techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ, allowing you to find quick relief that lasts. If you are feeling the discomfort of TMJ disorder, contact our holistic dentistry practice in San Diego for your consultation with Dr. Chen.

“Dr. Chen is truthful and honest. I am so impressed with her! You KNOW you are in the best hands possible. She’s very experienced and comes highly recommended from two friends that have had dental experience with her.”

~ Karen N

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