San Francisco dentist helps patients find relief from TMJ disorders
TMJ is an often-heard phrase that relates to dysfunction of the jaw. Often, it’s discussed when patients have unexplained jaw pain. Dr. Leo Arellano understands that many of his San Francisco patients suffer from the disorder without understanding the cause or treatments that can provide relief.
What is TMJ disorder?
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) connects the lower jaw to the skull. Below your ear, you will notice a small indentation. As you open and close your mouth, you will feel the rounded edges of the joint. A smooth transition between opening and closing, along with lack of pain indicates that the joint is healthy and properly aligned. However, if you have pain, hear a clicking noise, or have a jaw that locks into an open or closed position, you could have TMJ disorder.
What causes TMJ disorder?
While the cause of TMJ is not fully known, some habits, such as grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw can make TMJ worse. This can cause the joint to work overtime which can lead to a disc within the joint shifting or wearing down.
Treatment for TMJ
Many patients think they can stop themselves from clenching or grinding their teeth. However, these actions are often performed subconsciously or while sleeping. While some patients have found that their TMJ gets better after finding other ways to relieve stress, many patients need professional help. Dr. Arellano can provide a small mouth guard to be worn while sleeping, which stops patients from grinding their teeth, protecting the teeth and the joint.
If you have pain or hear clicking when you open your mouth, if it hurts to chew, or if you have frequent headaches, you may have TMJ disorder. Call Dr. Arellano at 415-881-4343 to schedule an appointment for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.