Have you been dealing with a lot of stress lately? Do you have pain or swelling in your jaw? Do you hear popping or clicking sounds when you move your jaw? You may have a disorder in your TMJ, or the bone that connects your jaw to your skull. It’s important to seek treatment for this condition from your dentist right away. Let’s look at how TMJ therapy in Los Gatos can help you.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, connects the jawbones to the skull. Temporomandibular disorder, or TMD, occurs when problems arise with the muscles and jaws in the face. Some common symptoms of TMD include:
- Headaches and earaches
- Pain and pressure behind the eyes
- Clicking or popping when opening and closing the mouth
- Jaw that temporarily “gets stuck”
- Tenderness in the jaw muscles
- Swelling in the face
If you experience any of these symptoms, alert your dentist right away.
How Can Stress Make TMD Worse?
Stress can cause multiple physical problems, including TMD. Many of us unconsciously clench our jaw when we are stressed, placing unnecessary pressure on our TMJ. Additionally, many of us might chew gum or overeat to deal with stress, but all that extra jaw movement may not be good for your TMJ.
How Can I Treat TMD?
There are a few home remedies to lessen the pain of TMD until you can see your dentist, such as:
- Eating soft foods
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
- Avoiding resting your chin on your hand
- Ceasing grinding or clenching. Place your tongue between your teeth if you have a problem stopping this habit.
- Messaging your neck and jaw muscles
- Placing heat or cold packs on the side of your face for 10 minutes at a time
- Limiting singing, yelling, or other activities where you open your jaw wide
How Can My Dentist Treat TMD?
Your dentist in Los Gatos can treat TMJ disorder in the following ways:
- Oral appliances: The main two types of oral appliances are nightguards and occlusal splints. Both of these devices are designed to work while you sleep. They will reposition your jaws to relieve the tension in your TMJ. In addition, a nightguard can prevent your teeth from eroding, cracking, or chipping due to grinding and clenching at night.
- Occlusal adjustment: The word “occlusal” refers to anything to do with your bite and the way your teeth come together. Your dentist can make small adjustments to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. By doing this, they can correct your bite, remove the pressure from the TMJ, and reduce your chances of grinding and clenching.
These therapies can greatly reduce the effects of stress on your TMJ. Contact your dentist if you experience any of the symptoms listed above so you can start feeling better as soon as possible!
About the Practice
At Los Gatos Dental Group in Los Gatos, CA, our dentists have multiple areas of expertise, so we almost never have to refer you to a specialist. Drs. Matthew Diercks and Liza Karamardian will both greet you with a smile and focus not just on the health of your teeth and gums, but how that relates to your health as a whole. To learn more about how they can help treat TMD, click here or call them at (408)-402-0900.