Brentwood, CA dentist offers treatment for the jaw joints for patients with TMJ or TMD
Posted By Dr. Jamil Alkhoury
Does your jaw hurt on a regular basis? Are you experiencing clicking or locking of your jaw joints? If you are experiencing chronic facial pain and headaches, you may be dealing with a condition known as TMJ disorder (TMD). Brentwood, CA area patients who have been diagnosed with this condition can seek treatment with our dentist.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, with TMD meaning temporomandibular disorder. TMD is a condition that is caused by dysfunction of these joints that hinge the jaw. Patients may have problems with the bones, ligaments, and the surrounding muscles that can result in pain and difficulty opening and closing the mouth.
The symptoms of TMD may include:
Patients who are having any of the above symptoms are urged to schedule an evaluation with their dentist if they have a concern of TMJ/TMD being present. It can be difficult to determine the cause of the condition, though underlying problems such as trauma or arthritis can contribute to its development. Visiting Drs. Jamil Alkhoury and Diana Belli is a great first step in receiving a diagnosis. The smile will be examined, and patients will have a series of x-rays completed to look at the joints and their overall health. Visiting a specialist who has experience with TMJ and TMD is a great first step for proper diagnosis.
Treatment of TMD
Once patients have received a proper diagnosis of their condition, they can speak to our professional about treatment. Treatment may be as simple as resting the joint and applying moist heat, but more severe conditions may require the use of an oral appliance. Oral appliances are specialized mouth guards that are custom-made for patients to address the problems associated with the TMJ. The mouth guards will reduce tension in the jaw area and help keep it properly aligned when patients sleep. At the same time, it can also protect the natural teeth and restorations from damage with coexisting concerns such as clenching and grinding. This condition, known as bruxism, is often seen in patients who have been diagnosed with TMD.
Finding the right treatment
Working with dental professionals such as those at Brentwood Family Dental is the best way to start in finding the treatment right for you. Many patients want to avoid anti-inflammatory medications for long-term use and are seeking solutions that don’t require pharmaceuticals. Drs. Jamil Alkhoury and Diana Belli understand this and are proud to provide these alternative solutions for patients to consider, including oral appliance therapy.
How is an oral appliance used and cared for?
After patients have received a diagnosis of TMJ/TMD, they can work with Drs. Jamil Alkhoury and Diana Belli to find out if oral appliances are appropriate for treatment. Oral appliances are custom made for patients using impressions of their teeth. These impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the mouth guard is fabricated. Patients return to the dental office to obtain their new mouth guard and speak with their dentist on how to use it. Mouth guards are often worn at night to protect the teeth and ensure comfort as less tension occurs. Patients can remove the mouth guards in the morning and soak them in denture solution to keep them clean, while also using a toothbrush to further clean their oral appliance. Replacements may be needed if the appliance is broken, cracked, or ill-fitting.
Learn more about TMJ and other conditions that can be treated by the team at Brentwood Family Dental
Drs. Jamil Alkhoury and Diana Belli provide Brentwood, CA area patients with solutions they can use to achieve healthy smiles! If you are experiencing problems with your jaw joints and are ready to seek professional help, we welcome you to book an appointment at our practice at 4411 Balfour Road, Suite C by calling 925-344-5296.
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