When you wake up in the morning, does your day start off roughly because of your aching jaws? Rolling over and telling your spouse “good morning” isn’t even enjoyable anymore—more like painful. This is a common symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder), which is caused by a misaligned bite. Luckily, there is a neuromuscular dentist in Sacramento, Dr. A. Scott Grivas III, that can help you better understand TMJ disorder and explain the treatment options available at our office.
I don’t know what a TMJ is. What is TMJ disorder?
If your teeth and jaws don’t align correctly, you could experience problems with the temporomandibular joint. This is the hinge joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. When these hinges begin to malfunction, doctors and dentists will refer to this as TMJ disorder. When you have a malfunctioning TMJ, you can experience issues chewing and eating as well as speaking. These issues can include popping, clicking, pain, or the jaw becoming stuck in an open or closed position.
I’m not sure if I have TMJ disorder. What are the most common symptoms?
TMJD can include the following symptoms:
- Pain, tenderness, aching, or fatigue in your jaw.
- Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders.
- Soreness in your ears.
- Discomfort when chewing, speaking or opening your mouth wide.
- The jaw becomes stuck in an open or closed-mouth position.
- Clicking, popping, grating noises that come from your jaw.
- Tiredness in your facial muscles.
- Difficulty chewing.
- Painful changes in your bite.
- Swelling on either side of your face.
I haven’t changed anything in my dental routine. What could have caused my TMJ disorder?
Diagnosing TMJ disorder can be difficult because it doesn’t seem as if it directly affects your oral health or vice versa. Most times you may be looking in the wrong direction if you’re experience head, neck, or ear pain. These could actually be the causes of your TMJ disorder:
- Anxiety and stress.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth, even while asleep.
- Whiplash (usually from a car accident).
- Trauma or injury to your jaw.
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
I want to fix my misaligned bite. How can Dr. Grivas help me?
Dr. Grivas offers a helpful way to provide you with the relief you desperately need with TMJ treatment in Sacramento: a customized removable orthotic device with the help of a TENS therapy unit. Since Dr. Grivas is familiar with both the minor and major forms of TMJ disorder, he can suggest the best options for your personal level of TMJ disorder.
Our office uses the revolutionary technology of a TENS unit, which sends electrical signals that massage and loosen your jaw muscles. Without the extra stress on your jaw muscles, they will relax and start to function properly along with the help of your customized orthotic device.
I don’t want to suffer from unnecessary jaw pain. What Can I Do to Prevent TMJD?
One of the biggest factors that cause TMJ disorder for most adults is stress. We recommend relieving tension by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet. This will help your body stay healthy and react to stressors like a heightened work load more appropriately. If your anxiety persists, it’s okay to seek additional assistance from our office. We would be more than happy to refer you out of our office for additional expert help.
I’m ready to meet with a professional. How can I schedule an appointment?
If you didn’t know what was causing your jaw pain, hopefully, this article helped you gain some clarity. It’s important to understand what causes your head pain so you can treat and avoid it in the future. It can be annoying and discomforting to have normal day to day tasks interrupted because of clicking. Sticking jaws. Get the help your smile deserves. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Grivas.