The temporomandibular joints are located on either side of the skull, and allow you to open and close your mouth and slide your jaw. These complex joints work together with a series of muscles, ligaments, and bones to allow you to bite, chew, speak, swallow, and yawn. When any of the individual parts of the jaw malfunction, you could end up with TMJ, or a disorder that causes pain and dysfunction. Our Northridge TMJ expert can help.
The joint in your jaw is a ball and socket joint with a cushioning disc. The disc enables the joint to rotate and glide smoothly. Arthritis, dislocation, and injury can all cause damage inside the joint, but stress, teeth grinding, misalignment, and overuse can also cause problems. Our expert in TMJ in Northridge will work with you to provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that works to address your individual symptoms and specific needs.
Conservative therapies are generally considered before more invasive approaches, and most patients respond well. Our Northridge TMJ expert may recommend one or several options, including:
• Lifestyle changes, including a soft diet and avoiding anything that would put excessive strain on the jaw
• Relaxation techniques
• Heat packs or cold compresses
• Physical therapy
• A night guard
Some patients may need more extensive treatments to deal with underlying issues. These may include orthodontic treatment to correct malocclusions or surgery to address injuries or severe abnormalities.
You may have TMJ problems if your jaw hurts, you have tenderness in the face or jaw area, if your jaw tends to get stuck open or closed, or you notice a clicking or grinding sensation that is accompanied by pain. Pain may also radiate to the ear, neck, and shoulder and may lead to headaches, earaches, and neck aches.
Each case is unique, and the therapies can be just as unique. We can help you find a treatment plan that restores comfort to your jaw and brings back your full range of motion. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our expert in TMJ in Northridge.