Reginald A. Griggs, DDS
Orthodontist located in Castro Valley, CA
Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ, TMD). This condition can make it difficult to eat, as well as cause chronic pain in the ears, jaw, and head. Experienced orthodontist Dr. Reginald Griggs and his team can help relieve your TMJ pain. Their emphasis on patient care helps ensure everyone that walks in has a positive experience, and are on the path to being pain-free. If you experience pain caused by TMJ, take the first step to finding relief. Schedule an appointment by using the online scheduling system, or by calling the office.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is a fairly common term, but many people don’t know what exactly it is.
The temporomandibular joint, after which this condition is named, connects your jaw to the bones in front of your ear, called the temporal bones. The muscles around these bones are what control the movement of your jaw when you eat, talk, or move your mouth and jaw.
This joint may become worn down, which can cause a variety of issues for some people. If you have TMJ, you experience a variety of symptoms that impact the movement of your jaw.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
If you have TMJ, you may experience a wide variety of symptoms such as:
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- Popping or clicking noises when you open or shut your mouth
- Trouble chewing food
- Aching pain in the jaw or ear
What causes TMJ?
Many factors can trigger your TMJ. For example, people who clench or grind their teeth are at increased risk of developing TMJ problems, as this puts extra pressure on the jaw. TMJ can also be caused by arthritis, as well as trauma or injury to the area.
How is TMJ diagnosed?
TMJ can be tricky to diagnose since it has many symptoms that are similar to a variety of other conditions — it’s often mistaken for ear problems.
To diagnose TMJ, Dr. Griggs and his team may:
- Conduct a physical examination
- View X-rays or other imaging systems
- Recommend a TMJ arthroscopy
During the physical examination, your doctor listens for clicks or popping noises when the jaw moves. They also feel to see if it locks when you move it.
How is TMJ treated?
While some symptoms of TMJ may go away on their own, many people aren't that lucky. Thankfully, there are many treatment options available to you at Griggs Orthodontics if you suffer from TMJ.
Treatment options include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Pain relievers
- Physical therapy
- Surgical treatment options
If you’re experiencing chronic jaw and ear pain, or have trouble opening and closing your jaw, you may have TMJ. Be sure to make an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Griggs and his team to diagnose the problem and set you down the path to a pain-free jaw.