Naming a shark “Jaws” probably makes sense if you’re a person. After all, sharks look like eating machines with a tooth-filled opening on one end and a tail on the other. Such an overdeveloped mouth might make it harder to appreciate the human jaw, but it's more powerful than you might think. A study performed by National Geographic shows that an adult’s average bite force is almost 160 pounds per square inch. All that force hinges, literally, on our jaw joint, the technical term for which is the temporomandibular joint, or if you’d prefer a less tongue-tied term, your TMJ.
You Can Never Have TMI about Your TMJ
When your TMJ is working as designed, you probably don’t even notice it. You eat, talk, chew gum, all without giving this amazing joint a second thought. But when your jaw is misaligned, and if the joint becomes inflamed or damaged, you may experience headaches, neck aches, and facial pain. In these cases, your dentist in San Jose, CA, may diagnose you with a TMJ disorder (TMD). Some other symptoms are:
- Back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain
- Clenched or locked jaws
- Clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth
- Earaches or tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing in your ears
- Facial pain and swelling
Treatments for TMJ Disorders
The first step to treating jaw problems is to arrange a consultation with Advanced Dentistry by Design. You will need a comprehensive examination as TMJ problems are naturally complex, with many related causes and exacerbating factors. Drs. Victor Woodlief and Michelle Khouri will even seek to collaborate with other medical providers helping with treatments. In addition, examination of CT and MRI scans will help them decide which treatments should be applied.
The first therapy we will provide is using several specialized medical-grade wearable appliances that help realign one or both of your TMJs. Our dentists prefer non-intrusive techniques to invasive surgeries for more long-lasting relief and results. Such treatments can also be pursued in the comfort of your own home and may accompany lifestyle changes. We may suggest relaxation techniques, meditation, and jaw stretching exercises. You may also benefit by using hot towels or compresses to promote calming the musculature that supports your TMJs.
Don’t Delay Caring for Your Jaws
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed and didn’t realize TMJ Disorder could be among the causes, then a call to Advanced Dentistry Design might be the solution. Our kind and thoughtful staff will schedule an appointment for you at the earliest possible time.