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TMJ Dysfunction Therapy

Man in dental chair holding cheek in pain In the US, millions of adults struggle with chronic pain, difficulty speaking and chewing, and impeded or complete inability to open and close the mouth. These patients may be suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. This common oral health condition occurs when the small joints connecting the jaw to the skull bone are damaged or overworked. When this happens, patients experience significantly impeded daily function whether they’re chewing, speaking, or sharing a smile with friends. Lucky for patients of Southland Smiles, we offer a wide range of minimally invasive, maximally effective therapies for patients suffering from TMJ dysfunction, or simply TMD. Contact our team right away if you experience any of the common warning signs of TMD including:

  • Jaw pain sometimes while moving, but may also occur while jaw is at rest
  • Earache, ringing in ears, or mild hearing loss
  • Chronic headaches especially upon waking
  • Neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • Grinding or clicking sound when opening and closing the mouth
  • Facial or neck swelling
  • Facial muscle spasms especially around the area where the jaw meets the skull bone
  • Teeth that no longer seem to fit together properly
  • Impeded mouth movement or complete jaw immobility

Some of the first steps we encourage patients to take are making minor changes in habits to relieve unnecessary stress on the jaw. This can include any of the following at-home care steps:

  • Avoid clenching teeth -  when your mouth is closed, your teeth don’t need to be touching
  • Stop chewing habits - avoid chewing gum, your nails, or the ends of your writing implements
  • Hold the phone - don’t cradle your phone between your ear and your neck
  • Chew food using both sides of the mouth
  • Avoid resting your chin in your hand
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