TMJ Dysfunction


Known in dentistry as Temporomandibular Joint dysfunction, TMJ dysfunction refers to a misalignment in the jaw joints which can cause discomfort, pain, and problems opening or closing the jaw. Our staff at Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery at Simi Valley is trained in evaluating and diagnosing TMJ dysfunction which then allows us to create a treatment plan that is specific to your situation. There are both nonsurgical and surgical options that may benefit your needs. Following your evaluation, with the assistance of a 3D Cone Beam radiology image, we can review your options with one of our oral surgeons.

TMJ dysfunction is a result of a misalignment of the jaw joints; these joints are what connect your jaw to your skull and when working correctly, they allow your mouth to open and close when eating, speaking or breathing. TMJ dysfunction can occur from some causes including:
•  Tooth Development: A malocclusion, or a bad bite, can occur naturally during tooth development, which can then lead to TMJ dysfunction. This includes overcrowded teeth and an open bite.
•  The Loss of a Tooth: When a patient loses a permanent tooth there can be an uncontrolled movement of neighboring teeth to fill the area, adjusting your bite. This adjustment can lead to severe problems.
•  Traumatic Facial Injury: An impact injury sustained in sports, a car accident, a fall, or a violent act, can lead to an adjustment in your jaw alignment. The results may not seem instantaneous, but the patient may experience problems that they do not realize are related such as facial pain or migraines.
•  Arthritis: As with all joints, the jaw joint can develop arthritis damaging the cartilage and causing pain and discomfort to the patient.

Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction


Patients with TMJ dysfunction may experience some symptoms, some of which may be obvious to the disorder and some may seem irrelevant to the disorder making it more difficult for the patient to realize the problem. Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:
•  A popping or clicking sensation in the jaw joint.
•  A tired feeling in your jaw, or feeling that you need to relax it because it is tight.
•  A feeling of pain in your jaw joint.
•  Pain in your face, including your eyebrow, cheekbone, or even in your ear.
•  Unexplained migraines or neck pain.
•  Pain or sensitivity in your teeth, though a dentist does not see any particular problem.

Treating TMJ dysfunction should be done in the hands of someone who is trained and skilled, such as an oral surgeon. Our team at Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery at Simi Valley can help you spot those signs that are an indication of trouble. Working with our team, we can help create a treatment plan that is specific to your needs. Some patients may be able to treat their condition with the help of a dental appliance, others may need to restore missing teeth, and others may require surgical intervention. Trust your oral care in the hands of those who have specifically trained to help in this specific area.

For more information on TMJ dysfunction, contact Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery at Simi Valley. Our front office staff is ready to assist you. (805) 328-2180
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Simi Valley, CA 93065-4655

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