TMJ Treatment - Issaquah, WA

Painful Jaw and Chronic Headaches?

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You May Have TMJ Disorder

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which attaches your lower jaw to your skull, is one of the most complex in your body. The ball-in-socket design is how you’re able to move your lower jaw in virtually any direction and comfortably bite and chew foods, talk, yawn, and live your life freely. If this joint is dislocated or damaged, it can lead to chronic jaw and joint pain, headaches, teeth grinding and clenching, sore facial muscles, popping and clicking during movement, and even joint immobility and lock jaw.

dental patient with jaw pain

Trouble with your jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.

TMJ Treatment

There are various treatment options for TMJ that Dr. Dhaliwal can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Dhaliwal will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care combined with professional care. The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasms and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:

Other Techniques

Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint (or nightguard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night. It also helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relieves pressure on parts of your jaw, and aids in disk repositioning. It may be worn 24 hours/day to help your jaw heal. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 hours/day, or just at night, to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help protect tooth wear.

Stop living with jaw pain.

Find relief here with TMJ treatment in Issaquah, WA!

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