The temporomandibular joints are the joints located on the sides of the skull. They connect the lower jaw to the skull and are located in front of your ears. The joint allows you to move your jaw up, down and side to side and is supported by chewing muscles and other soft tissues. When a problem develops in the TMJ, our Los Angeles TMJ doctor can help.
TMJ disorders can include arthritis, injuries to the joint’s cartilage disc or problems with the ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, teeth or the muscles of the jaw, face and neck. Stress, bruxism, poor posture, an unhealthy diet and a bad bite often contribute to the development of TMJ disorders. Our TMJ doctor in Los Angeles can help you get to the bottom of your TMJ problems and restore comfort and health to your jaw with personalized treatments.
TMJ Doctor Los Angeles
Our Los Angeles TMJ doctor will first ensure an accurate diagnosis by examining the joint, performing imaging tests and evaluating symptoms, which can include:
• Pain, discomfort or difficulty when biting or chewing
• Clicking, popping or grating sounds or sensations accompanied by pain
• A dull ache in the face, ears, shoulders or neck
• Pain or tenderness in the joint
• Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
• A jaw that locks into place
Other things we may check include your bite, areas of sensitivity and other health issues that could be causing your symptoms.
If you are diagnosed with TMJ, our TMJ doctor in Los Angeles may recommend starting with gentle, conservative therapies. These can include massaging, stretching and relaxing the muscles that support the jaw. Eat a soft diet, and avoid any activities that could put further stress on the joint, like gum-chewing. Cool compresses can be soothing while moist heat can loosen tight muscles. Physical therapy and stress reduction can both be helpful for many patients.
Medications, injections and oral splints can also be appropriate for some patients. Rarely, surgery may be needed. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our expert in TMJ treatment in Los Angeles.