The terms TMJ/TMD are typically used interchangeably to refer to temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint is the small, delicate joint near your ear, which connects your jaw and your skull.
This joint can become damaged or inflamed due to overuse (teeth grinding and excessive gum chewing), poor bite position, direct trauma to the joint, and some inflammatory and auto-immune disorders like arthritis. TMJ/TMD results in pain, poor operation of the joint, and other similar symptoms.
The signs of TMJ/TMD can vary quite a bit depending on the cause of your condition. However, most patients with TMD/TMJ experience symptoms including jaw pain, intense headaches, jaw stiffness and discomfort while chewing, and aching facial pain.
Some patients may notice things like “clicking” and “popping” sounds while chewing. In serious cases of TMJ/TMD, the jaw may even lock up intermittently when chewing, or you may not be able to open your mouth all the way. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, come into our office to see Dr. Pham right away.
Dr. Pham has years of experience treating patients with TMJ/TMD. In some cases, the treatment may simply involve avoiding unhealthy habits that cause the condition, such as excessive gum chewing. Orthodontics may also be an option if your TMJ/TMD is caused by an unhealthy bite. We also offer night guards to help with teeth grinding, which can cause TMJ/TMD symptoms.
One of the most common contributing factors to TMJ/TMD is teeth grinding. A night guard is a great option for treating this disorder because these oral appliances can prevent direct contact between your teeth. In turn, this relieves the symptoms and discomfort of TMJ/TMD. Call today to schedule your consultation to find out if a night guard is the right treatment option for your case.
"I want to empower patients by providing compassionate, quality dental care."
– Dr. David Pham