TMJ Therapy

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TMJ Therapy services offered in Los Alamitos, CA

More than 10 million Americans have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. If you regularly experience jaw pain, morning headaches, or difficulty chewing, consider TMJ therapy. At Volterra Dental Comprehensive and Aesthetic Dentistry, experienced dentist Richard Blackburn, DMD, and the team use TMJ therapy to relieve headaches, jaw pain, and other similar issues. To make an appointment in Los Alamitos, California, call the office or book online today.

TMJ Therapy Q & A

What is TMJ therapy?

TMJ therapy is a group of treatments designed to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. 

Your temporomandibular joints are two hinge-like pieces of tissue that connect your lower jaw to your skull. These joints help you bite, chew, and speak, but they’re also susceptible to general wear-and-tear. If one or both of your TMJ joints becomes inflamed, it causes various symptoms, including jaw pain, limited jaw movement, and general discomfort.

Who can benefit from TMJ therapy?

You might be a candidate for TMJ therapy if you experience symptoms, such as:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Pain around one or both temporomandibular joints
  • Aching facial pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Pain when biting or chewing

You might also be a candidate for TMJ therapy if you experience popping or clicking sensations when you open or close your mouth.

What causes TMJ disorders?

Researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes TMJ disorders, but several factors are thought to contribute, including teeth grinding and jaw clenching. You’re also more likely to experience a TMJ disorder if you have an underlying health problem, like rheumatoid arthritis or a connective tissue disease. 

How are TMJ disorders diagnosed?

The team at Volterra Dental Comprehensive and Aesthetic Dentistry diagnoses TMJ disorders during an in-office appointment. 

First, your provider reviews your dental records and asks about your symptoms, including when they first started, where the pain occurs, and whether it’s worse during certain activities. Next, your provider conducts an oral exam and takes 3D X-rays. They also observe your jaw’s range of motion and gently press on your jaw to identify sensitivity, warmth, or pain areas. 

After making a diagnosis, your provider develops a custom treatment plan that relieves jaw pain, helping you feel better.

How does TMJ therapy work?

At Volterra Dental Comprehensive and Aesthetic Dentistry, the team offers several types of TMJ therapy. After a review of your dental records and an oral exam, they might recommend:

  • Orthodontic treatment, to align your teeth and jaw
  • A night guard, to prevent teeth grinding or jaw clenching while you sleep
  • Lifestyle changes, like avoiding chewing gum
  • Stress management techniques, like yoga or meditation

Ultimately, the goal of TMJ therapy is to relieve pain and improve your jaw’s mobility and range of motion.

To learn more about the different types of TMJ therapy, make an appointment at Volterra Dental Comprehensive and Aesthetic Dentistry by calling the office or scheduling online today.