A temporomandibular joint disorder is a condition affecting the joint between the temporal bones of the skull and the jaw. This condition leads to uncomfortable symptoms for the patient, including:
The cause of TMJ can vary. Some patients experience symptoms because they grind or clench their teeth during the day or while they are asleep. Other patients develop TMJ due to arthritis in the joint or from a structural problem in the jaw. In addition, TMJ can also be the result of an injury to the jaw.
Dr. Ebrahimi typically diagnoses TMJ based on a description of the patient’s symptoms and her physical examination of the jaw, joint, and surrounding structures. In some cases, Dr. Ebrahimi may also order X-rays to determine the cause.
In some cases, TMJ may occur because of structural problems that can be fixed, such as a problem with the patient’s bite or missing teeth. Dr. Ebrahimi can resolve TMJ in these cases by repairing the underlying problem. Depending on the issue, she may need to place a crown or bridge, or she may recommend orthodontic work. In other cases, Dr. Ebrahimi may treat TMJ by recommending a splint or mouth guard for the patient to wear at night. This device holds the upper and lower teeth apart to reduce the effects of clenching and grinding.
Dr. Ebrahimi creates customized splints and mouth guards by taking an impression of their teeth. This impression is sent to a laboratory where a mouth guard is professionally crafted to comfortably fit the patient’s mouth.
If patients don’t experience complete relief after dental treatment or wearing a mouthguard, Dr. Ebrahimi may recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and pain. Patients who clench their teeth because of stress may also benefit from meditation or other relaxation strategies.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!