San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Do you ever experience jaw pain that lasts for hours or doesn’t go away? The temporomandibular (jaw) joints and the surrounding muscles are responsible for a lot of work. They help you chew, speak, and even work when your mouth is closed. A stable occlusion or bite shouldn’t result in any pain. However, consistent or even intermittent jaw pain could be an indication of TMJ disorder. Find out on our newest blog why your jaw hurts all the time and how Bay Area neuromuscular dentists can provide relief.
What is TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder is when the jaw is misaligned, causing stress, strain, and inflammation in the jaw joints. A misaligned bite can be the result of an injury to the face, missing teeth, or misaligned teeth that cause your bite to be uneven. You may not feel like your teeth have anything to do with it, but even the slightest change in your bite could affect your jaw joints. A single missing tooth can cause uneven biting pressure that leads to jaw joint pain.
How TMJ disorder affects your body
TMJ disorder has many symptoms that may start as intermittent pain and eventually lead to chronic pain that makes getting through the day seem impossible. You may experience tooth pain, earaches or stuffy ears, worn teeth, and headaches. In some TMJ cases that go untreated for a long time, neck and back pain may also result.
How can I get relief from TMJ disorder?
Many primary doctors aren’t familiar with diagnosing or treating TMJ disorder. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes prescribe medication to treat TMJ disorder, which only masks the pain and never treats the problem at its source. To receive the best treatment for TMJ disorder, you should see a neuromuscular dentist. Neuromuscular dentists have specialized training in diagnosing and providing effective treatment for TMJ disorder. The goal in treating TMJ disorder is to establish an even bite, which is made possible by using technology that measures the biting pressure of each tooth. Then, the bite can be stabilized with a custom-made oral appliance. These appliances are adjustable by your dentist. In some cases where the patient has tooth loss, extensive wear on their teeth, or misaligned teeth, the patient may benefit from a smile rejuvenation, which addresses each of these concerns to provide long-term relief.
Home remedies that may help ease pain from TMJ disorder
The best treatment for TMJ disorder can be achieved through a Bay Area neuromuscular dentist. However, there may be some home remedies you can try to help ease your discomfort. Apply ice packs to the sides of your face to ease inflammation. You may always modify your diet and eat foods that are soft or easy to chew. To ensure you still receive adequate nutrition, you can add fruits and veggies to smoothies. Soup is also an excellent way to consume veggies that are soft and not difficult to chew. Hard pieces of bread and tough meats may be something you avoid until your pain is under control. Additionally, chewing gum should be avoided as it could irritate your jaw muscles.
Dentists that treat TMJ disorder in the Bay Area and San Francisco
If you’ve been living with TMJ disorder or chronic jaw pain, Glen Park Dental can help. Our neuromuscular dentists have undergone extensive training and specialize in treating jaw joint pain. Find relief from TMJ disorder by calling Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500 and schedule a consultation today.