What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located beneath the ear, connecting each side of the skull to the lower jaw. The TMJ supports the motion of opening and closing the mouth, and moving the jaw side to side.
If you experience any problems with this joint, it’s likely you’re suffering from a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Luckily, Dr. Grivas can help relieve your pain with a convenient and effective treatment called Vivos.
Symptoms of TMD
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, Dr. Grivas recommends scheduling an appointment to have your jaw professionally examined. Common signs of TMJ disorder include:
- Frequent pain and tenderness in the jaw
- Inflammation in the jawbone or joint
- Headaches, toothaches, or earaches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
Causes of TMD
The TMJ is a complicated area of the body, so it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the disorder. The temporomandibular joint combines a hinge action with sliding motions. The parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage. They’re separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.
Some causes of TMJ disorder may include:
- Erosion or displacement of the disk in the joint
- Joint cartilage damaged by arthritis
- Joint damage by an impact
There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing TMJ disorders, such as:
- Various types of arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Jaw injury
- Long-term, (chronic) grinding or clenching of the teeth
- Certain connective tissue diseases that cause problems that may affect the TMJ
Relieve Your Pain With Vivos Treatment
Our Vivos oral appliance treatment can help relieve your jaw pain by correcting the position of your mouth as well as your jaw. This revolutionary solution works by slowly changing the structure of your mouth through continued wear. These appliances are discreet, portable, and comfortable.
Our practice utilizes the TENS unit to enhance the effectiveness of your Vivos appliance. This state-of-the-art device works by sending an electric pulse into the muscles. The TENS unit loosens and massages your muscles, relieving pain almost instantly. After this process, you should be able to open and close your mouth without discomfort.
Alternatives to Combat TMJ Pain
Alongside your treatment, practicing certain exercises can help relieve jaw tension and pain. It’s important to keep in mind that if you experience pain while performing any of the following exercises, stop immediately. You may require more time before you can engage the joint.
Relaxation and breathing exercises can help reduce pressure and tension in your jaw muscles.
Inhale for a count of five or ten, then slowly exhale and repeat. This technique can ease pain related to your TMJ, as well as reduce stress.
One of the top strengthening exercises includes placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Then, try to open your mouth as much as you can. Another exercise involves placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth and pushing your lower jaw forward as much as you can while keeping your tongue in place.
Practicing strengthening exercises while using Vivo can strengthen the relationship between muscles of the face, tongue, and throat. This can help you manage your pain when you have a flare-up.
Gently stretching your jaw and joints is an effective way to help relieve your TMJ pain. Relax your jaw, then with your teeth slightly apart, slowly open your mouth as wide as you can while looking up with your eyes. Hold your mouth open for a few seconds, then close it.
Once your mouth is closed, move your jaw to the left while looking to the left with your eyes. Do not turn your head or neck. Hold this position for a few seconds, then move back to the center. Repeat on the opposite side.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main cause of TMJ Disorder?
The main cause of TMD is excess stress that is put on your jawbone and damage to the cartilage that cushions the structure. There are several factors that cause this, such as arthritis, injury, prior trauma, or chronic teeth grinding (bruxism). Since there are multiple root causes for TMD, Dr. Grivas will examine your mouth and jaw to determine which treatment option is right for you.
When should I seek treatment for TMD?
It’s important to seek treatment immediately if you experience symptoms associated with TMD including chronic facial pain, jaw popping, or teeth grinding. Dr. Grivas will do a thorough examination to assess the cause of your pain. If not treated, your TMD can get worse over time and cause further complications that may require more invasive procedures.
Does TMD go away on its own?
Your TMD symptoms won’t go away unless you receive professional treatment. Ignoring the pain can put you at risk of developing further complications with your jaw and joints. That’s why it’s important to schedule a consultation with Dr. Grivas as soon as possible to alleviate your TMD symptoms and help you find the relief you need.
Are there alternative ways to relieve TMD pain?
Making certain lifestyle changes can help relieve your TMD symptoms, however, these should be done in addition to professional treatment. Natural remedies include acupuncture, massage, stretching, and alternating your position when you sleep. For a sustainable solution, we recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. Grivas.
Start Living Without Jaw Pain
With Vivos treatment, Dr. Grivas can correct your jaw alignment and relieve tension caused by TMD. You no longer have to worry about difficulty with eating, speaking, and yawning – you’ll be able to enjoy a life free of pain.
To learn more about TMD and how we can help, give us a call at (916) 735-4060 or fill out a convenient contact form. One of our exceptional team members will get back to you as soon as possible.