Dr. Valerie Scola has not just taken a special interest in the health of your teeth and gums; she has also taken a strong interest in the occlusal disease. Problems with how your teeth fit together when you bite down don’t just affect how your teeth look. Crowded, misaligned teeth and bite problems can also give rise to Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction or TMD symptoms in Murrieta, CA, and elsewhere.
Fortunately, Scola Family Dentistry’s knowledge of the source of TMD and related conditions, as well as our advanced diagnostics, presents effective treatment for patients in and around Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Sun City, and Canyon Lake.
Putting the brakes on TMD pain, and stiffness.
The TM joint that connects the jaws to your skull is connected to numerous other parts. Think of it as a well-oiled machine. When all of those parts — muscles, nerves, tendons, and other soft tissues — are in great working order, the TMJ functions comfortably and efficiently as the “hinge” that supports the ability for you to open and close your mouth. Any condition that can throw this carefully-designed system of components out of whack can result in TMD symptoms, including headaches, neck pain, jaw stiffness, and locking, radiating facial pain, and tinnitus. Various types of arthritis, jaw injuries, and connective tissue diseases have all been implicated in TMD.
As a dentist, Dr. Scola routinely sees the role that “bad bite” plays in TMJ disorders. Any time the relationship between the teeth and muscles is not in harmony, there is the risk of disordered movement and accompanying pain. Misalignment and bite problems can place undue stress on the joints and related structures. Additionally, problems such as chronic bruxism or teeth-grinding can “stress” the system that we rely on for basic functions. Even a habit as seemingly innocuous as chewing gum, ice, and other hard objects can place excessive tension on the muscles.
Give the green light to TMD treatment.
Real treatment, not mere symptom-relief, comes down to understanding the cause of your TMJ dysfunction. If we find occlusal disease is to blame, Dr. Scola may suggest orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign. Once the misalignment is corrected, your teeth and muscles are balanced and can operate in harmony again. We may also suggest customized oral appliances, such as nightguards or bite splints, which reposition the jaws and ease muscle tension.
TMD sufferers may also benefit from relaxation techniques, exercises that strengthen and stretch the muscles, and simple adjustments on how they eat food or other habits (see: chewing gum and ice).
You, too, can reduce your reliance on pain medications and get lasting relief from TMD symptoms from a dentist in Murrieta, CA, that has developed specialized expertise in preventing, diagnosing, treating, and managing this common condition.