TMJ

Jonathan Shouhed, DDS -  - Orthodontist

West LA Orthodontics

Jonathan Shouhed, DDS

Orthodontist located in Culver City, West Los Angeles, CA

Do you have constant pain, clicking, or grinding sensation in your jaw? If so, you might be suffering from TMJ disorder, a painful condition that affects the joint in your jaw, and the muscles surrounding it. Jonathan Shouhed, DDS, has helped many patients treat and overcome their TMJ disorder at West LA Orthodontics in Los Angeles, conveniently located near Culver City. Find relief from your pain today and schedule an appointment by calling the office or booking a visit online.

TMJ Q & A

What is TMJ?

TMJ is an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. It’s located right in front of your ear on either side of your head and has a fairly complex hinge-like structure that also facilitates a sliding motion.

TMJ disorder (or TMD) is a condition that causes pain in the joint and in the surrounding muscles that control the movement of your jaw.

Do I have TMJ?

The most common symptom of TMJ disorder is pain or tenderness in your jaw and the surrounding muscles. Many people also experience a sensation of clicking or grating when they open and close their mouth or a feeling that their jaw is locking.

If you suspect that you have TMJ disorder, speak with Dr. Shouhed at West LA Orthodontics to discuss your diagnosis and treatment options.

What causes TMJ disorder?

At its core, TMJ tends to develop when there’s a problem with the cushioning system in your joint, which is composed of layers of cartilage that cover the bones and a small shock-absorbing disc. Some conditions that might compromise this system include:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Genetics
  • Arthritis
  • Jaw injury
  • Certain connective tissue diseases
  • Chronic grinding and clenching of the teeth

The exact cause of a particular person’s TMJ disorder is typically difficult to identify, though, and can ultimately be any one or a combination of those factors.

How do you treat TMJ?

Many peoples’ TMJ disorder is mild enough to be treated with self-managed care and non-surgical methods. If Dr. Shouhed at West LA Orthodontics thinks that you’re suffering from TMJ disorder, he might advise that you try:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications or prescribed muscle relaxants
  • Hot and cold compresses to relax your jaw muscles
  • Giving your jaw muscles a rest by eating softer foods and avoiding chewing gum
  • Physical therapy for your jaw to stretch and strengthen your jaw muscles
  • Counseling to curb any habitual teeth grinding or clenching
  • An oral splint or a custom-designed mouthguard to mitigate the damage caused by clenching and grinding

In extreme cases or cases that haven’t responded to more conservative treatment methods, he might recommend surgery, though that’s typically a last resort.

If you’re suffering from TMJ disorder, stop living in pain, and find relief by scheduling an appointment with the dental experts at West LA Orthodontics. You can book your visit by calling the office or using the convenient online scheduling tool.