TMJ Therapy in Turlock, CA
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMD or TMJ, is a painful joint disorder that affects millions of Americans.
The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, creating one of the most complex joint systems in your body. This is the only sliding joint in your body designed to move up and down, side to side, and forward and backward allowing you to talk, chew, and yawn.
When this joint is not functioning correctly, you may experience a multitude of different symptoms such as:
- Clicking or popping sounds when you chew
- Difficulty opening your mouth wide
- Pain or tenderness in your neck, face, shoulders, jaw, or around your ear
- Jaw that gets stuck in an open or closed position
- Ringing in the ears
Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction can range from mild to severe to debilitating and sometimes can greatly affect the quality of life.
What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?
While the causes of TMJ dysfunction differ for everyone, trauma, stress, or injury to your jaw joint can often trigger TMJ problems. Trauma can take place during sports activities, falls, or car accidents. If you do suffer an injury, don’t wait to have a thorough examination by your practitioner because problems can become worse over time.
Bite misalignment, clenching, grinding, and stress can also contribute to TMJ problems. Many people clench and grind their teeth at night during sleep without even realizing it. This can also cause wear and fractures to your teeth. Teeth that overlap or are crooked may cause bite misalignment. Many doctors overlook skeletal misalignment, which is another factor that can play a role in TMJ issues.
How Does Progressive Health Dental Help Manage TMJ Dysfunction?
Dr. Ratto has been helping patients manage all stages of TMJ dysfunction for many years. Because he understands the oral-systemic connection, he knows that sometimes TMJ dysfunction is a muscular issue and sometimes it’s more of a skeletal problem. For this reason, he often works in conjunction with myofascial specialists and chiropractic providers when helping patients deal with TMJ issues. By working together with other specialists, Dr. Ratto is able to manage the root cause of your TMJ problem, and this is how he’s able to achieve the results that other practitioners can’t.
Dr. Ratto may recommend a customized oral appliance to help manage your TMJ symptoms. Orthodontia may sometimes help align the bite, which can alleviate some symptoms of TMJ dysfunction.
The first step is to meet with Dr. Ratto to discuss your symptoms and evaluate your mouth and jaw through examination and x-rays. From that point, Dr. Ratto can make recommendations, and together you can create a plan for managing your TMJ that will fit your lifestyle and needs.
The team at Progressive Health Dental will spend the time educating you about your condition so you can understand what triggers your TMJ problems and how to manage those triggers.
Don’t let the pain of TMJ dysfunction hold you back any longer! Contact our office today so we can get you back on the path to wellness.