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The Smile Artists -  - Cosmetic Dentistry

The Smile Artists

Cosmetic Dentistry & General Dentistry located in Culver City, CA

Roughly 10 million Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, so you’re not alone if you feel the facial pain or debilitating headaches that often come with TMJ. The Smile Artists in Culver City, California, can help determine if you’re suffering from a TMJ disorder and develop a treatment plan. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.


What is TMJ disorder?

Your temporomandibular joint is the joint that allows you to open and close your mouth. It connects your mandible, or lower jaw, to your temple. Between the ball and socket of the joint lies a small disc. The disc is flexible and allows you to open and close your mouth, make facial expressions, and move your jaw side to side.

The disc is surrounded by ligaments that keep it in place. Any abnormality or displacement of the disc or surrounding ligaments can cause TMJ disorders. Your dentist can diagnose your condition and determine if your pain or discomfort is caused by a TMJ disorder.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

Depending on the cause of your TMJ pain, a variety of symptoms may arise. They can include:

  • Pain in the face, ear, jaw, or mouth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Toothaches
  • Headaches
  • Clicking or popping sounds
  • Muscle spasms
  • Locking of the joints

If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, and they’re not improving over time, you should schedule a consultation with your dentist to find out if you are suffering from a TMJ disorder.

How do TMJ disorders develop?

There is a wide range of disorders that stem from a malfunction of your temporomandibular joint. You might develop a TMJ disorder by grinding your teeth too much or too hard. In cases like this, your pain will likely go away without further treatment.

More serious TMJ disorders can stem from other conditions, such as arthritis in your jaw. TMJ symptoms can also be caused by an injury or dislocation of your jaw.

What are my treatment options for TMJ disorders?

The symptoms of TMJ disorders can be prevented or eased by eating soft foods or actively focusing on relaxing your jaw and avoiding grinding. If you’ve developed a TMJ disorder from arthritis or an injury, there are a number of treatment options, including:

  • Customized night guards or appliances
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Jaw strengthening exercises
  • Heat application

If you have a TMJ disorder, your dentist can develop a customized treatment plan with a combination of appliances, medicine, and exercises to help relieve you of your TMJ symptoms.  

If your jaw is causing you discomfort, call or schedule an appointment online today with The Smile Artists.