Do you experience frequent pain in or around your jaw? This discomfort could be caused by a TMJ disorder. While these disorders can be a nuisance to live with, having them diagnosed and treated by an experienced doctor can rid patients of these negative symptoms entirely.
What are TMJ Disorders?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, connects the jawbone to the skull. This joint performs both sliding and hinge actions, allowing the jaw to open, close, and move in circular motions. The bones that make these movements possible are covered in cartilage and separated from the jaw by a small, shock-absorbing disk.
TMJ disorders occur when:
- The disk erodes or moves out of place
- The cartilage surrounding the bones becomes damaged
- The teeth or joint become damaged
These disorders cause pain and discomfort in the jaw joint and the muscles that control it.
Laser TMJ Treatment
Unlike most dentists in the Mountain View area, Dr. Latha has received advanced fellowship training with the Academy of Laser Dentistry and the World Clinical Laser Institute. This innovative treatment option can help maximize results and minimize patient discomfort. Ask us about laser TMJ treatment during your appointment!
The symptoms associated with TMJ disorders are relatively consistent from patient to patient. The most common ones include:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw
- Pain in the temple area
- Aching around or in the ear
- Aching facial pain
- Difficulty or pain while chewing
- Joint locking
Even if a patient is not experiencing these specific symptoms, any discomfort or pain felt on or near the jaw is enough of a reason to be checked out by a dental professional that has experience diagnosing and treatment TMJ disorders.
Diagnosis and Treatment
During a diagnostic appointment for TMJ disorders, Dr. Latha examines the patient’s jaw using a variety of different techniques. This usually involves her assessing the range of motion of the jaw, listening to sounds it makes as it opens and closes, and pressing on the jaw to identify specific sites of pain, discomfort, or sensitivity. If this initial evaluation is inconclusive, Dr. Latha may order that a CT scan, X-Ray, MRI be conducted to confirm the presence of a TMJ disorder.
Based on the severity of each instance of a TMJ disorder, Dr. Latha may provide the affected patient with a medication, a therapeutic technique, or a surgical procedure to correct the disorder. In the majority of cases, one or more of these methods is enough to cure the patient of their disorder and allow them to live a healthy, comfortable life.
Searching for a place for you or a loved one to receive a TMJ treatment in the Mountain View, CA area? Contact Dr. Latha today to schedule a consultation appointment.