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Treating Your TMJ

It can be easy to blame morning headaches or facial pain on a lumpy pillow or stress. But if you have these problems on a regular basis, it might not be your pillow or your busy schedule that’s to blame — it could be temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ.

More than 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ, according to statistics from the National Institutes of Health. At Nobel Dental, in Los Angeles, Abraham Nobel, DDS,MPH and his team offer TMJ treatments that can relieve your symptoms and improve jaw function. 

Causes of TMJ

Temporomandibular joint disorder is caused by inflammation and irritation inside your jaw’s joints. The joints can become irritated as a result of excess strain or uneven pressure on the joints. Missing or damaged teeth, crooked teeth, or other oral health issues can all cause unbalanced bite mechanics and uneven jaw strain, which can lead to a TMJ disorder.

People who grind or clench their teeth can also develop a TMJ disorder, even if their bite balance is normal. That’s because grinding and clenching can put a lot of strain on the jaw joints — as much as 250 pounds or more. Imagine having to deal with that kind of pressure for hours at a time every night. That’s what can happen to your jaws if you frequently grind your teeth.

Treating TMJ

Treating any oral issues begins with a comprehensive dental exam so we can determine the underlying cause. Once we confirm you have a TMJ disorder and know what’s causing it, we can create a treatment plan.

When TMJ is caused by oral health issues, such as missing or damaged teeth, we might recommend specific treatments or procedures to address those causes, such as crowns, bridges, or implants. We may also recommend orthodontic treatment to help close gaps or realign an unbalanced bite. 

In most cases, we start treatment by recommending a custom-made mouthguard. Mouthguards, which are made of a durable material, are custom made for each patient. You only wear them at night, and they can help reduce jaw strain.

We may also recommend other simple steps, such as regularly massaging your jaw joints or reducing your consumption of hard, crunchy, or chewy foods, which can help reduce inflammation and give your jaw joints a chance to heal.

Custom treatment is key

Millions of people suffer from TMJ, and many don’t realize it. If you have headaches, jaw or facial pain, or clicking or popping noises when you chew, yawn, or talk, TMJ might be the cause. The first step in finding relief and improving your jaw health is to schedule an exam so we can evaluate your bite, your teeth, and your jaw function.

As a top provider of TMJ treatments in Los Angeles, we know there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment for TMJ. Our team is dedicated to providing every patient with optimal care, so they can enjoy better oral health for years to come. To learn more about TMJ and its treatment options, book an appointment online or over the phone with Nobel Dental today.

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