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TMJ Disorders

There is a joint on each side of the head in front of the ears which connects lower jaw bones to skull. They are called temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These joints allow you to yawn, talk and chew. TMJ disorders cause pain, tenderness and discomfort in these joints. About 10 million people have TMJ disorders in United States and women are more likely to be affected by them then men. At United Dental Care we recommend self-managed care and non-surgical treatments for mild cases of these disorders, but in severe cases dental or surgical interventions might be needed. We offer these surgeries at Culver City Dentist and our other dental offices (Beverly Hills Dentist, Westwood Dentist, Los Angeles Dentist, …) as well. 

Pain and tenderness in jaws and around the ears, discomfort when chewing, headaches, painful clicking of the jaw, locking of the joints that makes it difficult to open or close the mouth and uneven bite are symptoms of TMJ. You may hear a clicking sound or have a grinding sensation when you open or close your mouth, but as long as there is no pain or limitation of movement you don’t have a TMJ disorder.
Trauma to the jaw can be one cause of TMJ disorders, but in many cases the source of the problem is not clear. Some experts say that anxiety, stress or Rheumatoid arthritis can cause TMJ disorders. Tooth grinding, jaw clenching, fibromyalgia and congenital deformity of the facial bones have also been associated with TMJ disorders.
There are no specific tests for diagnosing them. At Culver City Dentist we check muscles and joints for tenderness, clicking or popping and difficulty in opening and closing the mouth. We may also take x-rays or a mold of your teeth to see how they fit together. As sinus problems and earaches can cause facial pain as well, we need to make sure the cause of your jaw problems is correctly diagnosed. Our dentists will look for high fillings, a tipped or cracked tooth and signs of wear that indicate tooth grinding to make sure the problem is not caused by a dental issue.
If the problem is persistent, we start by recommending you to reduce your stress, avoid chewing gums, use bite guards to reduce the wear caused by tooth grinding and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. If the symptoms persist, we recommend corrective dental treatments and surgeries.

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Culver City, CA

United Dental Care
3909 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230
Tel: (310) 390-6000

Dr Abbas

Abbas Eftekhari, D.D.S. Dr. E

Dr. Eftekhari is a member of the
American Dental Association and has
extensive experience in dentistry.

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