We all experience the occasional headache, sore neck or shoulder pain. We can often dismiss these aches as the result of little more than stress or an uncomfortable night’s sleep. However, when pain becomes a chronic, daily occurrence or is accompanied by other symptoms, the problem could be related to TMJ/TMD.
The acronym TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. A condition impacting this joint is called a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. If you are among the approximately 35 million Americans suffering from TMJ pain and TMD, Dr. Jorge Paez can help you gain relief and live a happier, healthier life.
If you live in the Las Vegas, Summerlin or Spring Valley areas and would like to learn about your TMJ and TMD treatment options, please contact Nevada Dental Esthetics today online or at 702-737-3553 to schedule an appointment.
"I am SO lucky to have found Dr Paez. My experience in Las Vegas with doctors has been absolutely horrible! But this practice is the MEGA exception. He has a super gentle touch, his demeanor is so peaceful and he treats his staff with such respect. The front office is fully bilingual (English and Spanish), super attentive, explaining every single step of the treatment plan and any referrals. The dental assistants are experienced, detailed and with the same gentle touch. My mouth is super small so having someone with a gentle touch is essential for me. The new offices are beautiful, spacious and with plenty of parking. I recommend Nevada Dental Esthetics to anyone that is looking for a new dentist in Las Vegas!" - R.M.O.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Many patients describe TMJ pain as a dull ache near the jaw joint and surrounding areas. Common symptoms of TMJ/TMD can include:
- Ear ringing
- Popping or clicking sound when opening or closing the mouth
- Locking jaw
- Limited jaw movement
- Chronic headaches
- Stiffness in the jaw muscles
- Ear pressure and pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
Causes of TMJ/TMD
There are several possible reasons for your jaw to become misaligned. Potential causes of TMJ/TMD include:
- Stress, which can result in the frequent clenching of your teeth
- Cartilage damage, often linked to arthritis
- Teeth grinding
- Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or neck and head muscles after a blow to the head
- Dislocation of the disc that cushions the ball and socket of the temporomandibular joint
What Happens if TMJ Goes Untreated?
It may be tempting to ignore your TMJ pain. However, the consequences can be significant.
Untreated TMJ can lead to issues such as:
- Chronic jaw pain
- Recurring headaches
- Joint damage and inflammation
- Uneven tooth wear and damage
- Reduced quality of life
Who Is a Candidate for TMJ Treatment?
Most people who are experiencing symptoms related to a jaw joint problem are good candidates for TMJ treatment. Our dentist will likely recommend a non-invasive TMJ treatment if you:
- Feel discomfort when you open or close your mouth
- Experience pain in your ear, face, and/or neck
- Notice ringing in your ears
- Suffer from chronic headaches
- Have difficulty chewing certain foods
- Have trouble opening or closing your mouth
How Do You Calm a TMJ Flare-Up?
Many different things can cause new or worsening TMJ symptoms. These things include stress, teeth grinding, sleeping on your stomach, having poor posture, and eating hard or chewy foods.
Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to calm a TMJ flare-up. Start by learning to recognize your triggers from the list above. Then, try to see if you can eliminate these triggers.
You can also combat TMJ pain with the following steps:
- Take a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory drug
- Apply heat or ice to your jaw joint
- Eat soft foods that do not overwork your jaw
- Avoid resting your head on your chin
- Sleep on your back
- Manage your stress
- Talk to our dentist about getting a custom nightguard
How Do I Prepare for TMJ Treatment?
Preparing for TMJ treatment with a custom nightguard is simple. You will likely need to:
- Schedule a dental consultation
- Complete our patient forms
- Verify your insurance coverage and financing options
- Take digital impressions of your teeth
What Is the Recovery Like?
There is no recovery involved when treating TMJ with a custom nightguard! The nightguard is a non-invasive, removable, and comfortable oral appliance that you simply wear while you sleep.
At first, it might feel strange to sleep wearing a nightguard. However, it will quickly become second nature. In fact, you should find that it reduces the uncomfortable symptoms of TMJ.
Will I Ever Need TMJ Treatment Again in the Future?
A custom nightguard may be all that you need to experience long-lasting relief from TMJ. However, there are some circumstances where additional TMJ treatment may be advisable.
If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, our dentist may recommend a treatment such as Invisalign® to move your teeth into their proper positions and achieve your ideal bite alignment.
TMJ and TMD Treatment
At Nevada Dental Esthetics, Dr. Paez offers TMJ treatment through the use of a custom nightguard. This convenient oral appliance fits comfortably into your mouth and protects your teeth form clenching and grinding.
Other basic TMD treatments include:
- Eating soft foods
- Discussing medication options with your dentist
- Avoiding extreme jaw movements
- Practicing good posture
- Keeping your teeth slightly apart as often as you can throughout the day
- Learning relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw
Dr. Paez is committed to helping his patients find relief from TMJ/TMD pain. During your free consultation, he will examine the health and structure of your mouth and explain your dental options thoroughly. He will answer your questions, address your concerns and provide you with recommendations to help you get back on track.
Schedule Your TMJ Consultation In Las Vegas!
If you live in Las Vegas, Summerlin or Spring Valley and would like to learn how Dr. Paez can help your TMJ/TMD pain, please call Nevada Dental Esthetics today at 702-737-3553 to schedule an appointment. Or, you can fill out the form in our contact page for your one-on-one appointment with Dr. Jorge Paez!