What is TMJ disorder and how can a dental practice in San Francisco, CA help with treatment?
At the practice of Dr. Leo Arellano, patients have access to many dental solutions to improve the health, beauty, and functionality of their smiles. San Francisco, CA families can work with him to determine if there are certain conditions at play that are damaging the natural teeth. A common concern is TMJ/TMD. Our team provides not only diagnosis of the condition but an effective treatment option.
TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint.” TMD stands for “temporomandibular disorder.” The two terms are often used interchangeably, but this should not be the case. TMJ is referring to the joint itself and TMD is referring to the chronic problems associated with a dysfunction of the joint. This joint hinges the jaw, so it can open and close. When it becomes problematic, it can be painful. Patients with TMD may notice:
- Excessive clenching and grinding of the teeth
- Clicking and popping of the jaw joint
- Locking of the joint in the open or closed position
- Pain from the head, ears, jaw, neck, or shoulders
When patients are experiencing these issues, they can see Dr. Leo Arellano for a proper diagnosis. Problems with the TMJ are often determined with a medical history, information from the patient on symptoms, and with visible signs inside the mouth that may indicate a problem.
Treatment of TMD
For most patients, treatment of TMD can be achieved with oral appliances. Oral appliance therapy is a popular choice, as it is comfortable and effective. An oral appliance is a specialized mouth guard that is made to help keep the jaw aligned and reduce the common problems associated with the condition. It can also help protect the natural tooth enamel and restorations from bruxism which is often present as well. Bruxism is the clenching and grinding of the teeth that many patients do during the night without even being aware of it. This can ruin the teeth and cause damage that can be expensive and time consuming to repair. Patients are urged to visit with their dentist if they suspect conditions such as this to get immediate treatment.
Does the jaw need surgery?
Only in severe cases of TMD do patients need to consider the benefits of surgical intervention. This is rare, but in some situations, it may be the only way to address the problem. However, most of our patients fare well with oral appliance therapy as treatment.
Discuss TMD with a dentist in your area
Dr. Leo Arellano and his team proudly offer patients in the San Francisco, CA area solutions to many common dental concerns. If you are interested in learning more about TMJ/TMD and how it can be properly diagnosed and treated, we encourage you to contact us. Call 415-881-4343 to book an appointment and work with our team, conveniently located at 3030 Geary Boulevard.