Effective TMJ Therapy For Lasting Relief
Your temporomandibular joints, or your jaw muscles, are essential to your ability to eat, speak, and smile. However, just like any muscle system, they’re prone to painful problems, often classified as TMD. Fortunately, at Mid-Valley Dental Care, the Lau dentists can help you regain proper jaw function and alleviate your discomfort with safe and effective TMJ therapy.
What Is TMD?
TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorders. TMD can be caused by numerous issues, such as bruxism (teeth grinding), jaw misalignment, stress, and certain injuries. Common symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain when chewing
- A stiff or locking jaw joint
- Grinding or popping in the jaw joint
- Frequent headaches
- The inability to open your mouth fully
- Pain in your ears, neck, or face
- Frequent headaches
What Is TMJ therapy?
TMJ therapy involves treatments and procedures your dentist can offer to help alleviate your TMD symptoms. These treatments can be used by themselves or in combination to increase the efficacy of your therapy and address multiple causes of TMD. The Lau dentists will tailor your TMJ therapy to meet your individual needs. Some of the treatments we offer as part of TMJ therapy are as follows:
Jaw & Facial Relaxation Exercises
Many patients benefit from physical therapy exercises that release tension in and strengthen the jaw muscles. These jaw and facial relaxation exercises can be performed in-office or at home. Common exercises our dentists may prescribe include:
- Stretching exercises
- Rocabado’s 6×6 exercise routine
- Kraus’ TMJ exercises
You can learn more about these and other exercises our dentists may prescribe by dialing our Northridge office at (818) 886-3500 or reading about them here.
Certain lifestyle changes can reduce your TMJ discomfort. Commonly prescribed lifestyle changes include:
- Avoiding chewing gum
- Reducing stress or anxiety through medication and/or therapy
- Stretching your jaw daily
- Taking smaller bites of food
- Releasing tension from your head and neck
- Treating an existing bruxism condition
Restorative Dental Care
TMJ issues may arise as a result of a bad bite or missing teeth. If your smile has been weakened or is not fully functional, we encourage you to visit our dentists to determine if you would benefit from restorative dental care treatments such as orthodontics, dentures, or dental implants.
Oral Appliances (Mouth guards)
An oral appliance, also called a mouth guard or night guard, can hold the jaw in the proper position to alleviate discomfort and stress. Oral appliances will also cushion the teeth and jaws while you sleep to prevent the teeth from grinding or clenching.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
A severely bad bite may only be treatable through surgery. Also known as orthognathic surgery, corrective jaw surgery readjusts the bite to improve the alignment of the teeth and jaws. It can also improve the appearance of your facial structure. However, corrective jaw surgery is a last result, which isn’t likely to be recommended unless no other treatment has proven successful.
Frequently Asked Questions
The coverage for TMJ therapy across insurance providers varies. Some providers don’t cover TMJ therapy while others impose dollar amount limitations. Our dentists encourage you to call your dental insurance provider beforehand to learn what coverage your plan provides.
If you need additional help covering your TMJ therapy, our team is happy to help. To assist our patients in obtaining their necessary dental care, we offer various affordable financing options, including third-party financing through CareCredit and LendingClub. Mid-Valley Dental Care also provides special offers including deals for our new patients, free consultations, and flexible payment options.
Every patient is different, so the outcome can vary. For some patients, symptoms of TMD may resolve themselves, while for others, symptoms may linger. Unfortunately, if your TMD does stick around, it’s likely to get worse.
That’s why our dentists recommend you schedule an appointment at our Northridge office by dialing (818) 886-3500. By allowing one of the Lau doctors to diagnose and treat your symptoms, you’re more likely to find relief sooner.
Don’t Wait For TMD To Progress
The Doctors Lau offer their years of combined service to patients from Northridge and its surrounding areas including Granada Hills, Winnetka, and Chatsworth, CA. Our dentists are ready to help alleviate your TMD symptoms with effective, personalized treatment.
If you believe you’re suffering from TMD, don’t give your symptoms the chance to progress. Call Mid-Valley Dental Care’s Northridge office by dialing (818) 886-3500. You can also submit our contact form and a friendly team member will get back to you shortly.