The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the place where your jaw attaches to your skull to enable you to open and close your jaw smoothly. Sometimes the joint is damaged or injured, leading to a debilitating condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). If you're having pain or hearing sounds whenever you open your jaw, then schedule an appointment with Dr. Justin Becerra to see if you have TMD. At his office, Alpine Dental Arts in Lakewood, CO, Dr. Becerra utilizes innovative tools to diagnose and care for your TMD to relieve painful symptoms. Your treatment will be dependent on the cause of your TMD and your particular condition, but a few choices are oral appliances (night or mouth guards), bite adjustment, dental restorations, and much more.
TMD may be caused by an injury to the jaw, years of teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, or misalignment of the teeth (dental malocclusion). Other conditions that may cause TMD include arthritis or a tumor in the TMJ. Sometimes the cause of TMD is unclear, but if you're having symptoms, Dr. Becerra can diagnose and care for your TMJ. Some of the most typical signs of TMD are tenderness or pain at the temporomandibular joint, involuntary contractions in your face muscles, feeling like your jaw is rigid or stuck, and frequent headaches that begin in front of your ears. Another sign is hearing popping, clicking, or cracking when you move your jaw.
What To Expect
To diagnose TMD, Dr. Becerra will listen carefully to understand your concerns prior to a physical exam. Throughout the examination, he will evaluate how your jaw moves and look for signs of teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment. He will also palpate the jaw and lower face for any swelling and tenderness. Dr. Becerra might want to have digital images of your lower head along with an analysis of your bite to search for underlying factors that may determine your therapy approach. Depending on the examination, he will discuss your treatment choices that may incorporate a mouth guard, teeth straightening, or dental restorations (crowns, bridges, and dentures).
Along with treatments to solve the root cause of your TMD, Dr. Becerra may suggest different ways to relieve pain and other problems on your own. This may include eating softer foods, not biting your nails or chewing gum, applying heat to your jaw, and relaxation methods. Dr. Becerra may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaws or prescribe medication to relax your jaw muscles (and to relieve pain, nervousness, or even inflammation).
You should continue to go to follow-up appointments so Dr. Becerra can assess the results from your treatment. If your therapy isn't working, he might consider another strategy. As soon as your TMD is treated, you should continue to schedule yearly dental examinations at Alpine Dental Arts to keep your mouth healthy.
Dental insurance policies for diagnosing TMJ pain and TMD treatments will change, so we'll get in touch with your provider to figure out your personal expenses. Whether you do or don't have dental insurance, Dr. Becerra will discuss price quotes when discussing treatment choices. To help make all remedies cheap, Alpine Dental Arts takes many payment options and we will be able to help you find medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can make it difficult to eat, talk, and enjoy your life. Since there are lots of potential causes, signs, and remedies to treat temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), make an appointment with Dr. Justin Becerra at his practice in Lakewood, CO. He will perform a detailed exam prior to making a diagnosis and talking about treatment choices. Get in touch with our staff at Alpine Dental Arts to learn more and schedule your appointment.