Problems with your jaw can literally be felt from head to toe. Yet, temporomandibular disorders are often misdiagnosed, dismissed as “all in your head,” or symptoms masked with pain killing medications. The dentists at Pasadena Prosthodontics and General Dentistry in Pasadena, CA take your discomfort seriously. They use leading edge technologies for accurate diagnosis and recommend treatment techniques that get to the source of the problem.
Causes of TMJ disorders
Many factors, from sudden trauma to genetics, may result in dysfunction of this complex joint. However, one of the most common causes of TMD is loss of a molar. When there is deep decay or damage to a back tooth during youth, many people choose extraction since they feel the gap won’t show. This may be true, but impact on the smile, oral health, and the body can be far-reaching. Lack of posterior teeth allows other teeth to shift, creating imbalance in the bite and premature dental wear. Jaw joints become inflamed, putting pressure on the fifth cranial or trigeminal nerve, which controls motor functions of the mouth. You may simply have a stiff jaw with limited mobility, or pain when chewing. Some TMD patients have facial swelling and earaches, as well. The trickle-down effect of a problem with these critical joints can result in headaches and migraines; neck, shoulder, and back pain; and even problems with hips, knees, and ankles.
While over-the-counter or prescription analgesics may temporarily relieve symptoms, Dr. Marchack takes a dental approach for long-term improvement. Here are a few of the techniques he may employ:
- Digital diagnostics to assess occlusion (how upper and lower teeth come together), alignment, and health of hard and soft tissues in the joint.
- Replacement of missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or dentures.
- Adjustment or replacement of ill-fitting dental restorations.
- Referral to an orthodontist for significant bite adjustment.
- Oral appliance therapy to reduce bruxism (nighttime clenching and grinding), reposition bite, and reduce strain on the joint.
Are you ready to stop treating symptoms and start resolving the cause of your temporomandibular disorders? Call 855.770.3737 in Pasadena, CA to schedule a consultation.