Orthodontics Services

TMD - TMJ Treatment in El Cerrito

El Cerrito​ TMD – TMJ Treatment

TMD is more common than you think. Ever wondered why your jaw makes a popping sound? Have you felt localized pain near your ear? Have you experienced a locking or limited movement of your jaw?

Our mouths are complex structures. One part that is often overlooked by most people is the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short. This joint allows your jaws to perform several movements, making it a vital structure in your mouth. Some patients suffer a disorder causing pain and, at times, limiting movement. We call this condition Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD for short.

Some people use the terms TMJ and TMD interchangeably, and even if they are undoubtedly related, they are not the same. We all have a TMJ, and, unfortunately, some individuals suffer from TMD.

What Causes TMD?

Determining the causes of TMD remains a challenging task in the dental health community. Even trained orthodontists, and other dental health specialists with advanced knowledge about people’s dental structures, have a hard time pinpointing an exact cause for TMD.

Your TMJ is under constant use. This cartilage disc allows up and down movements and moving your jaws to the side, meaning you need it to talk, yawn, and chew. Still, we cannot attribute this type of disorder to excessive use of your temporomandibular joint.

There may exist a correlation between TMD and other elements like grinding your teeth, various degrees of arthritis, or severe trauma to your jaw. Sadly, the relationship remains unclear.

Do I Have TMD?

Let’s talk about some of the symptoms you might notice if you suffer from TMD. The most common symptom reported by patients who suffer from this problem is muscular or joint pain when they chew. Individuals suffering from this for a long time also report constant headaches and dizziness.

Be careful when opening or closing your jaw because you may have a more limited range of motion if dealing with TMD. That locking of your jaw may prove painful. Try not to force your jaw in either direction.

People who experience muscular pain may also feel radiating pain on their necks, shoulders, and up their heads.

How Can I Get Any Help With TMD?

Diagnosing TMD can be challenging but not impossible. We will review your medical history in full detail and require you to explain all your symptoms carefully. Please, don’t forget any details. There are no wrong questions during a consultation with a professional.

We will need to take advanced imaging, such as x-rays, to get a closer look at the affected area and formulate some treatment that helps you manage TMD symptoms.

Individuals looking for relief from their TMD may benefit from simple actions. Consider eating soft foods to avoid exerting your jaw too much. You could also use heat or ice packs over the area where you feel the pain. Using short-term muscle-relaxing drugs can alleviate the pain.

Contact Estes Orthodontics Now!

Finally, if it comes to that, we recommend you get corrective surgery, but this is only an option if your TMD is too complicated and if your symptoms are too severe. Our El Cerrito Orthodontists have an office in Albany, and we love receiving patients from any of our neighboring cities, like El Cerrito.

Make sure you consult with a professional like Dr. Laurie Estes to find out more about the causes for any of the symptoms mentioned here and how to deal with them. We will love to have you in the office and help out with your orthodontic problems.

Click here to get directions to our office, or go ahead and set an appointment online. See you soon!