If you experience chronic pain in your jaw, you likely suffer from temporomandibular joint and muscle (TMJ) disorder. The joints affected by this condition connect the lower jawbone to the skull and are used frequently so that you can speak and chew. When the muscles and ligaments surrounding these joints become irritated or inflamed, TMJ can occur.
About one out of every 12 Americans has TMJ disorder, but only about half of those who suffer from this condition ever seek treatment. Trusted dentist Dr. Robert Milner offers a range of treatments to help you overcome chronic discomfort.
Symptoms of TMJ
Side effects from the condition include:
- Difficulty chewing and biting
- Pain in the jaw, face, ears and/or neck
- Serious headaches
- A clicking or popping sound when you move your jaw
If these symptoms are persistent for you, please see Dr. Milner to seek treatment and relief.
Potential Causes of TMJ
Though researchers debate the precise causes of TMJ, it can usually be attributed to one or more of the following factors:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Dislocated joint
- Jaw or teeth misalignment
Your TMJ treatment may be adjusted to address the root causes of your condition.
You may find TMJ relief by trying some at-home remedies such as massaging your jaw muscles each day, applying ice packs and adjusting your diet to include foods that do not require as much chewing. Managing your stress can also go a long way toward reducing symptoms. If those tricks prove insufficient, speak to Dr. Milner.
Since teeth grinding is one of the leading causes of TMJ, Dr. Milner may suggest trying to wear a night guard to prevent clenching while you sleep. He takes a mold of your mouth to create a custom night guard that is comfortable and effective. Many patients find that they no longer wake up sore after sleeping with the device.
Dr. Milner may also suggest exercises to help strengthen your jaw muscles.
In the severest cases of TMJ, surgery may be appropriate. Although Dr. Milner prefers to exhaust other options first when treating TMJ, he is a skilled surgeon who has helped his patients find relief from chronic jaw pain. He has multiple jaw-related surgical techniques in his arsenal, some less invasive than others. X-rays can help Dr. Milner to determine which surgical approach is best suited to your mouth.
Cost of TMJ Treatment
The price of TMJ treatment depends on which course of action is recommended by Dr. Milner. It is often covered, at least in part, by insurance. When it comes to TMJ, medical insurance typically provides better coverage than dental plans. Financing options are available for patients who prefer to make payments toward the total cost of care.
Do Not Put Up with Unnecessary Jaw Pain
Rather than resigning yourself to a lifetime of chronic pain, seek treatment from Mission Viejo’s best TMJ dentist. He will work with you to find a solution that fits your lifestyle and gets your jaw functioning more normally again. To schedule a consultation to discuss your options with Dr. Milner, please call (949) 859-8899.