Patient Guidelines During COVID-19

TMJ Treatment


Cosmetic Dentists, Implant Dentists, Pedodontists & General Dentists in the Central Coast and Bakersfield, California

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome (TMJ) is a common condition that may cause significant discomfort. The team at CaliDental, located in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield, and Lompoc, California, offers pain-relieving dental solutions for TMJ for patients of all ages. To learn more about the TMJ treatment options available, call or schedule an appointment online with their office today.

TMJ Treatment Q & A

What is temporomandibular joint dysfunction?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a condition that affects the joint between the jaw and skull. The temporomandibular joint is a complex system of bone, nerves, ligaments, and muscles that allow for movement, eating, and talking.

When there is damage and inflammation to the temporomandibular joint, you may have symptoms that affect the face, neck, head, shoulder, and teeth. Symptoms may include:

  • Facial pain
  • Ringing in ears
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Jaw locking
  • Frequent headaches
  • Pain when opening jaw
  • Neck and shoulder tension
  • Inability to fully open mouth 
  • Clicking or popping noise in joint
  • Crunching feeling or sound in joint
  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Tension or muscle spasm in the jaw
  • Ear pain not related to an ear infection

Because the root cause and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction often relate to your teeth, your dental team is best equipped to relieve your discomfort and correct any structural problems before they worsen.

What causes TMJ dysfunction?

Damage, misalignment, and dislocation of the joint cause your symptoms, which may range from occasional and mild to severe and debilitating. The most common cause of TMJ is a misalignment of your teeth, which your dentist can correct using several methods.

Other causes of TMJ dysfunction include:

  • Arthritis in the joint
  • Missing teeth
  • Facial trauma
  • Stress, which causes muscle tension and spasms
  • Bruxism or teeth grinding
  • Whiplash, or another neck injury

If left untreated, your TMJ dysfunction can lead to tooth damage and loss and bone deterioration. Your dental team at CaliDental has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of your TMJ dysfunction.

What is the treatment for TMJ dysfunction?

If you have symptoms of TMJ dysfunction, your dental team first collects valuable information that may help determine the underlying cause of your condition. To correctly identify the root cause they:

  • Collect a thorough medical history
  • Complete a comprehensive oral exam
  • Take digital X-rays
  • Take dental impressions of your teeth
  • Perform a bite analysis

Using this information, they create a personalized plan of care for you that may include correcting dental misalignment, use of a customized bite guard, relaxation techniques, or muscle relaxants. With proper TMJ care, you can find relief from your symptoms and protect the integrity of your teeth in the long term.

For a consultation regarding your TMJ dysfunction, call or schedule an appointment online with CaliDental today.