For those in San Francisco, TMJ / TMD treatment may be trouble-free
We all know that stress has been linked to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, depression, and a variety of other conditions. However many are not aware that too much stress can cause pain and injury to the jaws and teeth. One such problem is temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
TMD is a general diagnosis that stems from jaw muscle and jaw joint related problems. The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) connect the lower jaw to the skull, and are located directly in front of each ear. Along with the jaw muscles, these complicated joints allow movement up and down, side to side, and protrusion and retrusion. These joints enable us to make the movements necessary for chewing, speaking, and making facial expressions. TMDs can be caused by many different things including stress, jaw trauma, arthritis, or muscle fatigue from bruxism (the grinding and clenching of teeth).
The majority of TMDs are muscle related problems. Myofascial pain (MFP) is a type of TMD that involves overactive muscles and is typically stress related. Injury or overuse of a muscle can cause areas of tight muscle fibers to form trigger points, causing pain along the muscle. When this pain is persistent, or worsens, and limits functional movement of the jaw, doctors then call it myofascial pain dysfunction (MPD). Myofascial pain dysfunction is ongoing, unlike normal muscle tension pain, which is typically of short duration. The term MFP may be used to indicate stress-induced pain in any part of the face.
Stress related clenching and grinding can make the jaw move in injurious ways with higher stress causing worse movement. Abnormal jaw movement can create MFP, which can then turn into MPD. This can begin with muscle soreness, jaw tightness, and pain. If left untreated, the additional stress placed on the TMJs can lead to problems directly related to the joints.
If you are suffering from stress, have had trauma to your jaw, suspect you are clenching and grinding your teeth at night, notice TMJ noises, or are experiencing persistent jaw pain schedule a consultation with Dr. Leo Arellano. He has extensive experience in relieving jaw pain for the residents of San Francisco. TMJ/TMD treatment may include an intra-oral device, diet recommendations, anti-inflammatory pain relievers, compresses, and massage.
Put an end to the pain, call 415-881-4343, or stop by 3030 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA, and schedule a consultation to learn the many ways Dr. Arellano may relieve your pain.