Working with your dentist to regain mobility and comfort with TMJ/TMD treatment in San Francisco
TMJ means the temporomandibular joint. These 2 joints connect the lower jaw to the skull in front of both ears. They work with facial muscles to function when chewing and speaking. When these joints and associated muscles do not work properly, you may have TMD, temporomandibular joint disorder. You might experience head, jaw, and neck pain; ear pain; swelling; trouble chewing; and popping or clicking sounds when you bite.
We all might occasionally experience pain in the jaw. This is quite common and may not be a sign of TMD. However, when pain or swelling is present for more than a week or two, it is important to consider whether TMD is the problem and get an evaluation. Dr. Arellano has provided excellent TMJ/TMD treatment in San Francisco for some time and can help you determine the best course of action to eliminate pain and restore function. Ideally, treatment for TMD should begin when the disorder is in its early stages.
Treating TMD may involve a number of exercises as well as the use of a special dental appliance called a nightguard or splint. Some of the recommendations for what can be done at home include:
- Eat soft foods while your TMD is being treated.
- Take anti-inflammatory pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen to ease pain when necessary.
- Apply warm compresses to the area where pain is occurring for approximately 20 minutes, especially before performing any exercises recommended by Dr. Arellano or your medical doctor.
- Gently massage the affected area a few minutes each day.
At-home care for TMJ/TMD is helpful for faster healing but is not a substitute for professional care. After an assessment with Dr. Arellano, you can determine the likely cause of your pain and the most suitable treatment option. Allowing this condition to continue may worsen pain and symptoms to the point of requiring more invasive treatments, so getting professional help early is important.
If you experience any of the symptoms of TMJ/TMD, schedule a consultation with Dr. Arellano to discover if treatment is required.