TMJ and TMD | Manhattan Beach Neuromuscular Dentist | What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ / TMD)

Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, and Southbay

tmjMany people suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) without knowing the source of their painful symptoms, which often include chronic, migraine-like headaches.

Manhattan Beach orthodontist Dr. JD Miller has extensive experience in accurately diagnosing and effectively treating this common, and commonly misdiagnosed, condition. If you suffer from recurring headaches, jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms, please call Surfside Smiles at 310-947-1810 to learn how we can help you find relief.

Causes of TMJ/TMD Pain

The temporomandibular joint gives TMJ its name, and it is the joint that connects each side of the mandible (lower jaw) to the skull.

The joint is surrounded by a sensitive network of tendons, muscles and nerves, which includes the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve, among other functions, is responsible for registering sensation throughout the face.

A misaligned jaw and some bite conditions can overtax these connective components and lead to intense headaches and other discomfort. For more information, please see TMJ Symptoms.

TMJ Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Miller uses advanced technology to diagnose the source of your TMJ/TMD pain. This includes precise measurements of your teeth and jaw, mapping of your jaw movement, and determining the natural, comfortable resting position for your jaw.

Depending on the cause and severity of your TMJ/TMD, treatment may be as simple as stopping poor oral health habits like pen chewing, ice crunching and teeth grinding. Some patients benefit from the use of transcutaneous neural stimulation (TENS) to relax the jaw and relieve discomfort; other patients find relief with the use of an oral appliance worn during sleep to hold your jaw in alignment. Patients whose TMD symptoms are the result of a bite condition may require orthodontic treatment.

If not treated, TMJ/TMD can lead to progressively worsening symptoms as well as other oral health problems.

To learn more about TMJ assessment and treatment, please contact Surfside Smiles today. Dr. Miller welcomes patients from the greater Manhattan Beach, California, area.