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TMJ Disorder & Therapy

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What is TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder is a condition that can be very tricky. Many people are affected with dysfunctional jaw joints without their knowledge. If your jaw muscles tend to feel tired all the time, or your jaw pops or clicks when you open and close your mouth, it is possible that you have TMJ disorder
TMJs are the joints located at the back of each side of the jaw. It is these joints, the Temporomandibular joints, that facilitate the various movements the jaw makes. As a result of misalignment, trauma, or another problem, these joints may become unduly stressed to a point where dysfunction occurs (TMD). In many cases, the solution to resolving TMJ is very simple. If the condition is untreated, however, teeth may become excessively worn and chronic pain may develop.

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Causes of TMD

Sighs & Symptoms

Warning Signs TMJ Disorder Has Developed

Excessive Wear

If the bite is not properly aligned, or if tooth grinding is a habit, teeth may become worn down. Excessive wear can be treated with an oral appliance such as a night guard. However, the important point is to treat the occlusion from which problems stem.

Jaw / Bite Problems
Ideally, our bite should remain pretty stable throughout our lifetime, changing only slightly, if at all. In order for the bite to work as it should, the various oral structures, such as the jaw bone, muscles, joints, and tendons must work synergistically and harmoniously. Due to the varying symptoms of TMJ disorder, problems may persist for years before they are recognized and properly treated.
Loose Teeth
In the absence of gum disease or some other disease, teeth should remain stable and upright. Teeth may, however, become loose if skeletal problems exist, preventing teeth from fitting together as they should. Correction is important to prevent tooth loss.

Are You At Risk of TMJ Disorder

You can assess your risk level by completing the following self exam survey:

  1. Do you have difficulty chewing gum without discomfort?
  2. Does your jaw click, pop, or hurt sometimes?
  3. Is it ever difficult to move your jaw?
  4. Do you have difficulty eating chewy or hard foods?
  5. Are your teeth becoming overly crowded, or spaced farther apart?
  6. Have your teeth changed at all in recent years (become shorter, thinner, more worn)?
  7. Do your teeth easily meet up when you bite down, or must you strain?
  8. Do you grind or clench your teeth?
  9. Do your teeth ache when you wake up in the morning (a sign of nighttime clenching)?
  10. Do you, or have you, worn a bite appliance?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is “yes”, we encourage you to contact our Newport Beach dental office for your consultation with experienced dentist, Dr. Spath.

Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ

It’s important to consult with a dentist who has experience in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. They can provide an accurate assessment of your condition and offer appropriate treatment options tailored to your needs.

Yes, dentists can play a significant role in the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. While TMJ disorders may involve multiple factors and require a multidisciplinary approach in some cases, dentists are often at the forefront of diagnosing and managing these conditions.

The coverage for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) treatment through dental insurance varies depending on the specific insurance plan and policy. In some cases, dental insurance may provide coverage for certain aspects of TMJ treatment, while in other cases, it may not be covered at all or may have limited coverage.

Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate the need for TMJ correction:

  • Jaw Pain
  • Difficulty or Discomfort with Jaw Movement
  • Clicking, Popping, or
  • Grating Sounds
  • Limited Jaw Movement
  • Facial Pain or Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Ear-related Symptoms
  • Teeth Grinding or
  • Clenching

The cost of TMJ correction can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the condition, the specific treatment approach, the geographic location, and the expertise of the dental professional. TMJ correction can involve various treatment modalities, and the cost can vary accordingly.

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