TMJ Treatment San Jose
When you think of headaches, neck pain, or facial pain, your first thought likely isn’t about your teeth. But if you didn’t include your teeth, you’d be missing out on a powerful medical secret: many head, neck, and facial pains can trace back to the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), which connect the jawbone to the skull on both sides.
When one or both of your TMJs are having issues or aren’t correctly aligned, it can cause a range of symptoms—and lower your quality of life while you eat, talk, work, smile, and even sleep.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder or suspect that you’re living with the painful condition, it’s crucial to seek medical treatment as soon as you can. At Advanced Dentistry by Design, we provide San Jose TMJ treatment and therapies for jaw clenching and teeth grinding. To learn more or to schedule a dental appointment with us, please call us today at (408) 258-5054.
- What is TMD?
- How do we treat TMD?
- Why is it important to seek treatment for my TMD?
- How can I begin TMJ treatment in San Jose?
What Is TMD?
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are issues with the jaw joint and muscles that cause pain in the area—and throughout the body.
Problems with the temporomandibular joints are common, with millions of Americans affected by temporomandibular disorders. Because so many TMJ-related problems originate from dental causes, our San Jose dentist offers therapy for TMD and bruxism to help our patients manage their symptoms and control their pain.
TMDs, which are also referred to as craniomandibular dysfunction or craniofacial pain, can wreak havoc on your health, causing:
- Headaches and migraines
- Back pain
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Facial or throat pain
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Tired jaw
- Earaches, congestion, or ringing ears
Because of the vast array of symptoms, these disorders are difficult to diagnose and are confused with temporal tendonitis, Ernest syndrome, occipital neuralgia, and more (which we also treat). Because treatment for TMJ disorders is unique, it’s crucial to get a comprehensive diagnosis from TMJ specialists like us.
Dr. Woodlief has extensive experience and training in treating TMJ dysfunction and headaches. His gentle and comprehensive approach to addressing jaw-related problems helps patients enjoy a healthier and happier life.
Because TMDs can be traced to sources as varied as genetics and arthritis, we ultimately think of TMDs as injuries. They’re common injuries—but they still create persistent pain, disrupt your sleep, and wreak havoc on your health and your life. You may even be limited in the foods you can eat and experience fatigue due to constant pain.
If you’re living with these debilitating symptoms, we can help. At Advanced Dentistry by Design, our San Jose dentists will work with you to design an appropriate treatment plan.
How do we treat TMD?
Problems with the temporomandibular joint are unique to each patient and can, therefore, be complicated to treat. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for TMJ pain, and we may sometimes have to experiment with different modalities to find the solution that’s best for you.
To make your specific solution sustainable, we identify and treat the root of the problem—not just the symptoms. This means that the first step to managing your TMJ is a precise and comprehensive diagnosis.
When you come to us for TMJ treatment in San Jose, we’ll perform a wide-ranging evaluation and full medical history workup. Sometimes, your TMD symptoms may have been around longer than you realize—and we may be able to learn more about your condition by studying your overall health and the cycles of your pain.
We will also evaluate CT scans and MRIs when necessary. Using these scans, we can measure and trace your jaw joints and discover details about their alignment.
Our dentists work with other medical specialists within the community to provide comprehensive care plans from some of San Jose’s brightest minds. We know that the best medical solutions are often collaborative, so we will get multiple opinions and use methods from different branches of medicine to achieve the best results for you.
We customize treatment to your specific needs and preferences. The goal is non-invasive, therapeutic rehabilitation—not intense, disruptive surgeries. So, we choose from among dozens of specialized devices that you can wear to guide the joints gently into place—then we complement the appliance with physical medicine (if needed) and other medical treatments for maximum improvement of your condition.
Much of our TMJ treatment involves these specialized oral appliances that you can wear while you sleep or for periods as prescribed by your dentist or doctor. Our San Jose dentists will typically also recommend you try a variety of at-home remedies and solutions, such as:
- Applying ice packs to the affected joint
- Taking over-the-counter painkillers or prescription-strength medications as instructed
- Staying away from gum, sticky candies, or foods that are difficult to chew
- Practicing jaw exercises or stretches as prescribed by our dental office
- Discovering ways to reduce your overall stress and anxiety levels, such as through exercise, meditation, and getting enough sleep
- Using hot towels or other forms of moist heat on the area temporarily
- Minimizing the use of your jaw during yawning and eating by only opening your mouth part of the way. This means avoiding large and difficult-to-chew bites of food, such as biting into a whole apple
Why is it important to seek treatment for my TMD?
If you’re already living with a temporomandibular joint disorder, we probably don’t need to tell you that the lifestyle isn’t ideal. Going through your days with facial pain and soreness can affect your mood and your outlook on life, especially if you’ve been dealing with your symptoms for a long time.
At Advanced Dentistry by Design, we want you to be happy and healthy and able to live your best life without having to worry about how you will manage your TMJ pain from day to day. For this reason, we choose to offer conservative dental treatments that can treat your symptoms without permanently altering your jaw or facial structure in any way.
Getting the non-invasive TMD treatment you need is essential not only if you want to get out of pain and live a more comfortable life, but also if you’re going to preserve the health of your smile over the long term. The clenching and teeth grinding associated with TMJ can also cause significant wear and tear to your teeth.
If you suffer from TMJ in San Jose, you might also notice that your teeth look worn down, shorter, or even broken. Constant pressure and force on your jaw, even if it’s subconscious, can devastate your smile. Your teeth are an essential aspect of your bite, and your jaw health and dental health are undeniably linked. Unfortunately, it’s common for one to affect the other.
Seeking treatment for your TMD symptoms will help you keep your natural teeth in good shape while also helping you reduce painful headaches and jaw soreness in your everyday life.
How can I begin TMJ treatment in San Jose?
You don’t have to tolerate a diminished quality of life due to TMD symptoms.
At Advanced Dentistry by Design, our San Jose dentists are ready to treat your headaches, tired jaw, earaches, neck stiffness, and popping jaw sensations with oral appliances, medications, jaw exercises, bite alignments, and collaborative efforts from other local healthcare professionals.
If you’ve been experiencing unrelenting discomfort or jaw pain and want to explore a better solution, reach out to us for a consultation by calling our San Jose dental office today at (408) 258-5054.