Dentist in San Marcos, CA offers diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorder
At Sun Smile Dental Group, patients in and around the area of San Marcos, CA have a variety of treatment options available to them, including general, cosmetic, and restorative care. Additionally, our professionals, Drs. Robert Lin and John Murphy, also help patients who have conditions such as TMJ disorder (TMD). This is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. We offer diagnosis and treatment of this and many other disorders of the oral cavity.
The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the jaw joint. This bone is like a sliding hinge that is present on each side of the face to allow the jaw to open and close. This joint can sometimes become dysfunctional, resulting in a chronic condition. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Tenderness and pain of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles (one or both)
- Aches, pains, and overall discomfort in and around the ear or overall facial area
- Pain and tenderness when chewing or talking
- Locking of the jaw joint, which may make it difficult to close or open the mouth
- Tenderness that radiates down to the neck and shoulder on one or both sides
- Chronic headaches/migraines
- Clicking or popping of the jaw joint while eating or speaking
- Grating sensation when opening or closing the mouth
Diagnosis and Treatment of TMJ Disorder in San Marcos, CA
While some of these issues are mild or do not cause pain, they may sometimes become a much bigger, more problematic issue. If patients are just experiencing some clicking and popping of their joint when they eat, it may not be necessary to visit for a diagnosis. However, if the problems are impacting one’s overall quality of life by resulting in pain or serious problems, it would be worthwhile to visit a professional for a proper diagnosis and to discuss treatment options. Sometimes, the malfunctioning joint can become a serious issue later, causing further damage with arthritis or resulting in disc erosion in the area. While the overall cause of TMJ disorders is not clear, there are effective treatment options that can be discussed with a professional.
Diagnosis of TMD
If you are experiencing the symptoms of TMD and are interested in treatment, the first step is booking a consultation appointment and initial diagnostic evaluation with the team of Sun Smile Dental Group. Drs. Robert Lin and John Murphy will provide an examination. It may include listening to the jaw joint, observing the patient’s range of motion, and pressing around on the muscles surrounding the jaw joint to identify specific areas of pain and discomfort. The dentist may also take x-rays or speak to the patient about their medical history to determine if this condition is present and requires treatment.
Treatment of TMD
There are several avenues that can be taken in terms of treating patients who have TMD diagnosed. Some include medications, special therapies, or surgeries. Below is a small sample of what can be done for TMJ disorders:
- Medications – medications can be used to address TMJ disorders that are not serious and cause occasional discomfort for patients. This may include special antidepressants which can be used for pain relief such as tricyclic medications; over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or NSAIDs.
- Therapies – therapies for TMJ disorders may include physical therapy and the use of occlusal appliances, or “mouth guards” that can be worn to realign the jaw and reduce tension on the joint.
- Surgery – in severe cases of TMD, patients may not see improvement with other methodologies and may require joint surgery to resolve their issue.
Do you believe you suffer from TMD?
Contact the team of Sun Smile Dental Group today to book a consultation visit with Drs. Robert Lin and John Murphy to learn more about the options available for diagnosis and treatment to achieve relief. We welcome patients in and around the area of San Marcos, CA to contact our practice at (760) 744-1300 and visit us at 1582 West San Marcos Boulevard, Suite 201. We are committed to ensuring patients have access to quality dental care solutions for their smile!