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What Causes TMJ Disorders?


Burbank woman holding jaw in pain due to TMJ DisorderA malocclusion, or misaligned bite, can create a number of problems for your oral and overall health. One of the most common problems with a misaligned bite is known as TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. At Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry, our goal is to prevent, diagnose, and treat these problems before they develop into major complications.

What Is the TMJ/TMD?


Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) allows you to move your jaw upwards, downwards, and side-to-side. This combination of muscles, ligaments, disks, cartilage, and bone provides a sliding hinge action responsible for your ability to chew, speak, yawn, and otherwise open and close your mouth. Any problem that prevents you from properly using your jaw is known as a TMJ disorder (TMD).

The exact cause of TMD is hard to determine, because TMD shares a number of symptoms with other oral health problems. Generally, we know the most common causes of TMJ disorders include:
•  Injury or trauma to the jaw
•  Bruxism, or teeth grinding
•  Arthritis or inflammation in the joint
•  A malocclusion
•  A misalignment of the disk
•  Damage or deterioration of the disk
•  Clenching the jaw due to stress

How Do We Treat TMJ Disorders?


The first step of treatment is a proper diagnosis. During you initial consultation, we may use cutting-edge imaging technology to gather a more comprehensive overview of the relationship between your teeth, soft tissues, and jaw. If we do diagnose you with TMD, the next step is developing a personalized treatment plan.

Your treatment plan is dictated by the cause and severity of your TMJ disorder. The most common professional treatments include:
•  A night guard or splint. Many people with TMJ problems tend to clench their jaws during sleep. A night guard is a plastic appliance designed to keep your jaws in the proper position and prevent enamel wear. A splint is similar to a mouthguard, but worn all the time.
•  Restorative treatment. Replacing damaged or missing teeth with a crown, bridge, or dental implant can help improve your bite and alleviate the symptoms of TMD. Orthodontic treatment may also be necessary to move the teeth to their proper position.
•  Medications. If your TMD is the result of stress-related habits, muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety medications can serve as a temporary way to relieve painful symptoms. These medications are usually a small part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.

Home Remedies for TMD


The symptoms of TMJ disorders can sometimes dissipate on their own over time. In other instances, professional treatment may be necessary. When professional treatment methods prove ineffective, Lawrence Toomin, DDS or Mark Bieber, DDS may also recommend at-home remedies.

The most common and successful home remedies:
•  Apply a hot or cold pack to the side of your face. We may also provide you with a few simple jaw stretches beforehand to improve results.
•  Eat softer foods. Adding more soft foods to your diet can reduce the strain placed on your jaw while you chew. Cutting your food into smaller bites can also help you chew less, further alleviating any painful symptoms.
•  Avoid intense jaw movements. Keeping your teeth slightly apart can also relieve pressure on your jaw.
•  Implement relaxation techniques. We may suggest consulting with a physical therapist to help loosen up your jaw. Stress reduction methods can also prove useful.

Schedule Your Appointment


If you have experienced significant problems with your TMJ, it may be time to consult with a professional. Call (818) 748-9998 to schedule your appointment today!



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I continue to be impressed with every aspect of dental care and service at your office. Everyone is wonderful and makes me feel important, valued, and respected as a patient; everything is explained in detail.
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