Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull and allows you to do things like eat, speak, yawn, and laugh. In fact, any time you move your jaw, it is thanks to the TMJ.
While many people never think twice about this joint, there are many others who struggle with the pain it causes them.
TMJ pain can happen for many different reasons. Thankfully, treatment is available. Let’s take a look at how you can get pain relief for your ailing TMJ.
What Does TMJ Pain Feel Like?
If you have never formally been diagnosed with TMJ issues, you may not be 100% sure that what you are feeling is actually pain from this joint at all. It is always highly recommended that you make an appointment with a TMJ specialist in San Francisco for an evaluation and treatment. In the meantime, below are a few indicators that you may, in fact, be suffering from TMJ pain.
- Pain around the temporomandibular joint on one or both sides of the face
- Pain near the ear on one or both sides of the face
- Jaw pain or tenderness, especially when speaking or chewing
- Popping, grinding, or clicking sounds when moving the jaw
- Locking of the joint, making the mouth unable to move
Keep in mind that the symptoms of TMJ pain can feel different for everyone. You may be surprised that the pain from the jaw can extend all the way down through the spine.
Treatment from a TMJ Specialist
If you are looking for long-lasting relief from your TMJ pain, then you will need to see a specialist. This can give you access to some of the best treatments for TMJ pain. Below are two you may want to consider.
Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (TENS) is a device that relaxes the muscle by sending a low-voltage electrical current through the tissue. It has proven itself to be highly effective in treating chronic TMJ pain.
TENS is used in conjunction with an orthotic. The treatment will align the jaw and the orthotic will stabilize it.
MLS Laser Therapy
A multi-wave locked system (MLS) laser is a minimally invasive and painless way to reduce inflammation and pain within the joint. It uses two lasers, each with a different wavelength. One reduces inflammation and swelling within the jaw and the other goes deeper into the tissues and nerves.
Just as with TENS treatment, MLS laser therapy also uses orthotics to stabilize the jaw for long-term relief.
Get Relief from a TMJ Specialist
If you have been suffering from TMJ pain, there is help out there. At San Francisco Dental Wellness, we offer the most advanced and effective treatment that will help you return to the quality of life you deserve.
What’s more, as clinical director at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, our very own Dr. Chui provides effective treatment to veterans suffering from complex TMJ disorders.