TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.
No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Dr. Pezeshkian can help you have a healthier, more comfortable jaw.
TROUBLE WITH YOUR JAW?
TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.
DO YOU HAVE A TMJ DISORDER?
- Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
- Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
- Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
- Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
- Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
- Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
- Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
- Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
- Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
- Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
- Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
- Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
- Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?
The more times you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.
There are various treatment options that Dr. Pezeshkian can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Pezeshkian will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care combined with professional care.
The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasms and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:
- Resting your jaw
- Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
- Eating soft foods
- Applying ice and heat
- Exercising your jaw
- Practicing good posture
Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint (or nightguard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night. It also helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relieves pressure on parts of your jaw, and aids in disk repositioning. It may be worn 24 hours/day to help your jaw heal. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 hours/day, or just at night, to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help protect tooth wear.
WHAT ABOUT BITE CORRECTION OR SURGERY?
If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together you may need treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Surgical options, such as arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring, are sometimes needed, but are reserved for severe cases. Dr. Pezeshkian does not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and non-reducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.
This is my second visit. My first official visit fitting for my new smile. My first visit I had my consultation and a wonderful visit with the doctor. Dr. Pezeshkian explained everything to me about my procedure and how Invisalign will work for me. It was my best choice. I am in my 40's and did not want traditional braces. The office staff is welcoming and incredibly knowledgeable. The atmosphere is soothing and I felt at ease. I have had two friends come to the doctors office with great success. All with different dental procedures. Dr Pezeshkian is far more than a dentist, he is an artist with his skills. The Dr is gentle and I did not have any sensitivity. My care and comfort was the offices main concern. I would recommend Advanced Dentistry for my whole family.
Going to the dentist is definitely not something I look forward to, but Dr. Pezeshkian is so amazing and comforting, I never have a problem! The staff is amazing, in both locations..Arcadia and Glendale. I had my wisdom teeth pulled out this morning and everyone knows the fear behind that. Dr. Pezeshkian took two of my top wisdom teeth out and it took 15 seconds each with no pain or discomfort. Dr. Pezeshkian makes your dentist visit fun and entertaining with his upbeat personality and optimistic view on everything. By far my favorite dentist!! Thank you so much Dr. Pezeshkian!
Just like any other kid, I've always hated the dentist. I've probably switched dentists like 4 times...never felt comfortable to get up and get my teeth drilled. Who would ever look forward to that? After I started coming by Dr. Pezeshkian, I've never been a nervous wreck before going into his office.. It's always a fun experience for me. The staff makes you feel very comfortable and the receptionist is also super nice. Appointments are ALWAYS on time and the office is always clean and organized. I'm very happy to have switched to Dr. Pezeshkian. I haven't had a problem with going to the dentist ever since!! Thank you Dr., you're the best at what you do !!!
Dr. Pezeshkian and his staff are truly incredible. I've been coming to him since I was a kid and he never disappoints. You never have to wait when they give you your set appointment and the staff truly do everything to make you comfortable through the entire process. Thank you Dr. Pezeshkian and staff, you guys are the best!
I've been a patient since I first moved to California in 2012, and I don't think I'll leave anytime soon! The staff really ensures you're well taken care of and provides the best dental care possible.
I feel blessed to have found Dr. Pezeshkian's practice. Every single visit to his office has been accompanied by calmness, optimism, and contentment. That is partly because every single member at Advanced Dentistry is gregarious, treating patients like family. Most importantly, they always provide me with thorough examinations and advanced treatments. I always walk out of the clinic fully informed of my dental health. Thank you for all your help.
I've been seeing Dr. Pezeshkian since I moved to LA over 4 yrs ago. I originally went specifically to transfer my Invisalign case because I saw they were having a Groupon special. And although the special was explicitly for new cases, they were so kind and flexible enough to work out a deal for my unique situation and I've never looked back. Since then he and his staff have gracefully ushered me through two gum surgeries, whitening treatments, night guards, retainers, countless cleanings, fillings and, most recently, Botox to treat my TMJ symptoms. Needless to say, I've spent a LOT of time there and my smile can fully attest to their knowledge, talent, professionalism, and bedside manner. The office has a very private family practice kind of vibe, where you get friendly, personal attention and know that they really care. Dr. Pezeshkian takes the time to explain his proposed treatment without pushing the up-sell (though his on-point bow tie game doesn't hurt). All-in-all, I'd like to say my smile speaks for itself (but since it's the internet you'll just have to take my word for it)
It was my first time visiting this office a couple days ago, but from the moment I walked through the door, I was greeted so kindly and sincerely that I felt as if I had been a patient with them for years and years. Admittedly, I hadn't been to a dentist's office for quite a while before this visit, but instead of giving me the lecture that I expected (and rightly deserved), Dr. Pezeshkian chose to focus on the positives and gave me a thorough, straightforward exam while also making me laugh. I could tell that he knew his stuff, but his warm, cheerful demeanor was definitely a plus! Thank you to all the staff for such a pleasant visit and for making me feel at home. I'll definitely be back for any future dental needs. :)