Get Help for Jaw Pain & Discomfort
TMJ/TMD Treatment in Del Mar
If you’re experiencing jaw pain and discomfort, these are signs of TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). This condition can negatively affect your day-to-day life and can lead to a number of other oral health issues. Schedule an appointment in Del Mar with Dr. Pizzi today if you have a painful jaw or difficulties chewing and opening your mouth.
Understanding the Basics
The terms TMJ and TMD are typically used interchangeably to refer to a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. This is the small, complex joint located next to each of your ears, and it attaches the jaw to the skull.
This joint is very delicate and can be damaged by a number of different things, including overuse (chewing gum excessively), inflammation, trauma from a facial injury, or even some types of autoimmune disorders like arthritis. This damage, in turn, results in temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD).
Signs & Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of TMJ/TMD can vary depending on the cause of your disorder. However, there are some common symptoms present in the majority of TMJ/TMD cases:
- Pain that is radiating from the jaw, particularly near the ear, is a common indicator of TMJ/TMD.
- Intense headaches are also common as a result of jaw pain from TMJ/TMD.
- You may experience aching, pain, and tenderness when chewing or attempting to open your mouth wide.
- In more serious cases of TMJ/TMD, a patient may even experience lockjaw and be unable to open their mouth completely.
- Clicking and popping sounds as well as grinding issues may occur when opening your mouth.
- Muscle spasms are rare, but may occur as part of TMJ/TMD.
Treatments for TMJ/TMD
Since there are many causes of TMJ/TMD, treatment plans vary from patient to patient. During your consultation at our Del Mar office, Dr. Pizzi will discuss your symptoms and examine your mouth and jaw to determine the cause of your condition. This will help him develop a treatment plan to address your specific case.
In some cases, minor TMJ/TMD can be resolved with rest and anti-inflammatory medications, and lifestyle changes. For example, if grinding your teeth at night (bruxism) has led to your TMJ/TMD, we can help create a night guard that will protect your teeth and jaws. This appliance is designed to move your temporomandibular joint into a healthier position at night, encouraging healing of the joint.
Botox can also be helpful for patients experiencing TMJ to provide temporary relief from jaw pain. For patients who suffer from TMJ/TMD due to inflammation, corticosteroid injections to the joint may be a good option and can help relieve pain and discomfort. Surgical intervention to repair or restore the joint is typically a last resort, and is only used if all other treatments have not provided any relief.
We offer Botox at our Del Mar dentist to help relieve your symptoms of TMJ. As an experienced Botox provider, Dr. Pizzi offers beautiful, natural-looking results that will minimize jaw pain and provide temporary relief. Dentists have deep knowledge of facial muscles and they are able to tailor Botox treatments to each patient’s specific needs.