TMJ/TMD Treatments in Escondido, CA
If you are experiencing unexplained headaches and migraines, “popping” jaw muscles, jaw pain, or difficulties sleeping soundly, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly called TMJ or TMD. At Douglas G. Hope, DDS, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ/TMD. Our Escondido dental staff help you understand the root cause of your condition and take the appropriate steps to eliminate jaw pain, discomfort, and dysfunction.
Causes of TMJ/TMD
TMJ/TMD can be caused by many different things. One of the most common causes is teeth grinding (also called bruxism). Bruxism puts an enormous amount of strain on your jaw muscles, and can lead to the irritation and inflammation of your temporomandibular joint, resulting in TMJ/TMD. Arthritis can also cause the joint to stiffen, which is common in older patients. Impact injuries can also cause TMJ/TMD by “knocking” the joint out of alignment, or directly damaging the ligaments and tendons.
The treatment for TMJ/TMD depends on the root cause of the issue. TMJ/TMD caused by bruxism, for example, is usually treated with a mouthguard and lifestyle changes to help reduce stress. TMJ/TMD caused by arthritis can be treated with most arthritis medications, and corticosteroids, if the pain is severe. There are some severe cases in which oral surgery is required to relieve pressure and restore the joint, but this is quite rare. Surgery is typically only required for cases of TMJ/TMD that are caused by a serious impact injury, such as a slip and fall or a car accident.
One of the reasons that TMJ/TMD is so hard to treat is that it can be caused by many different injuries, lifestyle choices, and conditions. Unless you narrow down the cause of your TMJ/TMD, you may not get the right treatment. Dr. Hope is an expert and when you come in for TMJ/TMD treatment, he will discuss every aspect of your symptoms, and help you determine the best treatment plan for you. If you’re near Valley Center, San Marcos, or Rancho Bernardo drop by our office at 511 E 2nd Ave, Escondido, CA 92025 or call us at (760) 480-8883 for an appointment.
The Common Symptoms Of TMJ/TMD
Most people with TMJ/TMD will experience at least one or more of the following symptoms.
- Headaches – Headaches are common in people experiencing TMJ/TMD, and they usually center around the ears, since this is where the joint is located.
- Radiating jaw pain – Prolonged, radiating pain from the ear and jaw is a common symptom of TMJ/TMD. This can be minor or extremely uncomfortable, depending on the extent of your condition.
- Tenderness when chewing – You may feel tenderness and discomfort when chewing, particularly if you are eating tough, fibrous, or hard foods that require a lot of force and effort to chew.
- Clicking and popping jaw – When opening your jaw widely, you may hear and feel “clicking” and “popping” sounds. These can be uncomfortable and painful.
- Jaw locking – In severe cases, TMJ dysfunction can cause the joint to “lock” in place and stop you from opening or closing your jaw fully.
TMJ/TMD can be caused by a lot of different contributing factors. Accordingly, the exact symptoms of TMJ/TMD can vary widely between patients. Some patients may experience only minor symptoms like headaches, while others may experience restricted jaw movement, debilitating pain, and other such serious problems.
How Is TMJ/TMD Diagnosed At The Dentist?
There is no standardized diagnosis procedure for TMJ/TMD at the dentist, so a variety of different steps and procedures may be used to determine the extent of your condition at the office of Dr. Douglas G. Hope.
To begin with, Dr. Hope will discuss your jaw pain and symptoms with you, and compare these to the common symptoms experienced by those suffering from TMJ/TMD. He’ll ask how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms, discuss their intensity and when they happen, and get as much information as possible to help diagnose your issue.
In addition to this, Dr. Hope will ask about habits, recent injuries and incidents, and health conditions that could be contributing to your condition. For example, if you grind your teeth, have arthritis, or have suffered from a blow to the side of the face, this would be taken into account while diagnosing your condition, since these can all be causes or contributing factors for TMJ/TMD.
He will also examine your jaw and your bite, check your range of motion, and perform other such physical examinations to check for the signs and symptoms of TMJ/TMD, like jaw pain and jaw locking.
In addition to these diagnostic steps, Dr. Hope may recommend that you get an x-ray or CT scan of your jaw, or even an MRI, in some cases. Imaging the jaw joints, musculature, and bones can provide insights into the cause of TMJ/TMD, and ensure that your condition is diagnosed properly.
In some cases, it may be necessary for Dr. Hope to work with other medical specialists to identify TMJ/TMD and determine the proper treatment for your case. With his years of experience and patient-focused approach, you’ll get the care you need in Escondido.
"Dr. Hope has been my dentist for over 7 years. I wouldn't go anywhere else. I trusted him to do significant veneer work several years ago. My smile changed and I have been very happy with the results."
“Dr. Hope and his team are a great mix. They work well together and are very aware on making sure you have as little pain as possible. My family has been going for years and wouldn't go anywhere else.”
“I've been a patient at Dr. Hope's office for almost 15 years and have referred several of my friends. The hygienists have always been super friendly and gentle. In addition to typical dental work and my regular cleanings, I did Invisalign and was very happy with the whole process. ”
“Dr. Hope and his staff are the best. I have been a patient there since he took over the practice from Dr. Chatton. I'm not sure how long but I've been seeing Dr. Hope for at least 10 years or more. He is a great dentist who is very knowledgeable and has the most up to date equipment.”
“Dr. Hope & his staff are always so welcoming and professional. They make you feel like family and they make it a point to get to know you personally. The reason I decided to give Dr. Hope my business was because I found out that he gave back to our community.”
“Dr. Hope and his wonderful Staff are just the BEST!!! Dr. Hope and his awesome assistant, George, are very attentive, compassionate, accommodating, caring, funny, but first and foremost HONEST!!!”
“Dr. Hope and his team are wonderful! He is an amazing dentist! Everyone is so nice! I am always welcomed with big smiling faces! I will refer everyone I know to his office!”
“I have been going to Dr. Hope for quite some time now, and always feel so at ease. Dr. Hope is funny and just makes you feel relaxed while there! This is a very friendly office and as long as I'm living anywhere near San Diego I will be going to this dental practice, hopefully Dr. Hope won't be retiring any time soon (he's too young)!!!”
“We always feel like family when in Dr. Hopes office. Each staff member treats us with professionalism and with the best personalized care. They have helped my sensitivity problem to be non existent with the treatments they provide.”