TMJ

TMJ Specialist
Temporomandibular joint syndrome can be a challenging condition to live with and can impede normal jaw function. Dr. Jean Lee has the skills and experience needed to guide patients with TMJ toward the best treatment options for their needs. If you’re suffering from pain or functional difficulties due to TMJ, schedule an appointment with Foothill Dental Care in Tujunga, California today. The online scheduling tool makes it easy to find a time that suits your busy schedule. We also accept patients from Sunland-Tujunga, Sunland and from surrounding areas.

TMJ Q & A

by Jean Lee, DDS

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint syndrome. Rather than one specific condition, TMJ describes a range of disorders that impact this joint.

Your temporomandibular joint is the hinge joint that connects your jawbone to the temporal bones in your skull. It is responsible for the full range of jaw motion that enables you to eat, speak, yawn, and move your mouth.

When this joint becomes misaligned, your jaw may no longer function properly. That can lead to pain and swelling and can make it hard to get through your daily routines.

The exact causes of TMJ are unknown, but injury, tooth misalignment, teeth grinding, stress, and even poor posture may play causal roles. Some people find relief from TMJ discomfort by merely changing their daily habits.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

The following symptoms suggest that there may be a problem with your temporomandibular joint:

  • Persistent or severe jaw pain
  • Earache
  • Stiff or sore muscles
  • Headache
  • Popping sounds
  • Jaw locked in an open or closed position

It's essential to seek treatment for these symptoms as soon as possible.

What are the treatment options for TMJ?

Treatment depends on the severity of your condition and your overall health. Once Dr. Lee diagnoses TMJ, she discusses your treatment options with you and helps you decide on a treatment path.

Some people respond well to medications that relieve pain and reduce swelling, while others find a night guard provides effective relief. If there are areas of misalignment in your bite, dental work can correct the issue and help balance the biting surfaces of your teeth.

In some cases, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS can help relax the joint. Ultrasound, or deep heat therapy, can also help. In severe cases, surgery may be the best way to solve TMJ problems. Surgery can help by removing damaged tissue, realigning the joint, or “unsticking” the joint.

If you’re suffering from TMJ syndrome, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee to discuss a treatment option and help relieve your pain.

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