Do you regularly experience jaw pain when eating, yawning or smiling? Have you ever woken up in the morning with a headache or migraine? The source of your distress may be TMD, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. More than 10 million Americans suffer from TMD, which can cause various symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. If you believe your pain is related to TMD, Town Center Dentistry can help. Our board certified TMJ specialist, Dr. Thomas Gonzales, is trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating TMD, helping thousands of patients find TMJ pain relief. Dr. Gonzales is a graduate from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry and holds specialized training in neuromuscular therapy and TMJ treatment. Thanks to Dr. Gonzales’ training and skill, patients can rest assured they can find the relief they need to eat, chew, laugh, smile and live comfortably again.

What Is TMD?

TMD is a chronic disorder that results from excessive stress on the TMJ. In many cases, the stress is caused by bite misalignment or an imbalance in the jaw muscles. Other causes include:

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Teeth clenching
  • Trauma to the jaw, mouth or teeth
  • Inflammation related to illness
  • Chronic stress

Common TMD Symptoms

You may have TMD if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Trouble opening the mouth widely
  • Locked jaw in the open or closed position
  • Clicking or popping sounds when chewing, opening or closing the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Swelling on one or both sides of the face
  • Toothaches, earaches, neck aches and/or shoulder pain
  • Sinus pain
  • Headaches and/or severe migraines (especially in the morning)
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Dizziness or problems with balance

Because these symptoms can be associated with other disorders, it is important you schedule a consultation with a TMD specialist for a proper diagnosis. Dr. Gonzales uses the most advanced technology and evaluation techniques to formulate an individualized plan for patients based on their symptoms and the severity of their condition.

Treating TMD with Neuromuscular Therapy

Dr. Gonzales specializes in neuromuscular therapy, which focuses on realigning the bite and repositioning the jaw joints, muscles and teeth. Creating a well-balanced bite helps relieve pressure from the joints that results in painful TMD symptoms.

Neuromuscular therapy treatment options include orthodontics, physical therapy and the most common form of TMD treatment, oral appliance therapy. Treatment with an oral appliance involves using a custom-made dental appliance (with a design similar to a splint or mouth guard) to help maintain a relaxed jaw position when a patient sleeps at night, avoiding grinding of the teeth and pressure from the jaw joints. Oral appliance therapy is a simple and effective treatment that has helped thousands of patients eat, sleep, speak and live more comfortably, free of TMJ pain.

Town Center Dentistry is committed to providing exceptional treatment and care for all patients. Simply put, we do not believe in a “one-fits-all” approach when it comes to dentistry, including TMD. The best treatment option for you will depend on your specific needs and symptoms. Dr. Gonzales and our team of dental specialists will work with you to design a treatment plan that can help you find the TMJ relief you deserve.

To learn more about TMD therapy, please call Town Center Dentistry at (858) 521-0000 today.

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If you have issues with your jaw bone or muscle, schedule a consultation with Town Center Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo. We can help make your issues a thing of the past!