Treating TMJ Disorder

There is much more to your smile than a healthy set of teeth. At the back of the jaw are two very important structures that make it possible for you to achieve sliding and up and down movement. They are the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. This term is often used to describe a dysfunctional condition. However, dysfunction is more appropriately referred to TMJ disorder.

Because the TMJs are constantly at work, helping you chew, speak, laugh, smile, and more, TMJ disorder can have a significant impact on your comfort and functional ability. Individuals with this condition may experience a number of unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • Jaw or facial pain
  • Limited range of motion in the jaw
  • Lockjaw, in which the jaw becomes stuck in one position
  • Chronic headaches
  • Pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back
  • Uncomfortable clicking or popping when moving the jaw
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Excessive wearing down of the teeth
  • An uncomfortable bite in which teeth do not seem to fit together
  • Numbness or tingling down the arms

TMJ Dentist

TMJ can be a complex matter, which is why it is important to consult with a properly trained dentist if you exhibit signs of dysfunction. Advanced courses in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition give a dentist the skills necessary to identify the origin of dysfunction and to perform treatment to improve comfort.

Dr. Moeckel completed coursework at Spear, an educational institution recognized for its concentration on occlusion and the temporomandibular joints. She is also a Spear Faculty Club member. Training at this facility enables dentists to hone their skills through lectures, clinical training, and personal mentoring from other experienced dentists. Dr. Moeckel’s training, professional attitude, and warm manner make her a wonderful resource for patients struggling with the complex issue of TMJ disorder.

Treating TMJ Disorder

To alleviate the symptoms of TMJ, a thorough examination is performed. Imaging, x-rays, and other diagnostic testing provide us with the information we need to accurately determine where undue stress has originated. This may be bruxism (clenching and grinding), bite issues, faulty dental work, or injury to the jaw joints.

Treatment for TMJ is established based on the severity and cause of symptoms. Some patients improve significantly with an oral splint that encourages a healthier bite and buffers excess force from grinding and clenching. Occasionally, patients require a complete bite adjustment. With her background in cosmetic dentistry as well as TMJ and occlusion training, Dr. Moeckel can also recognize if restorative treatment may be performed to create a proper bite.

Get help for TMJ in the La Jolla office of Dr. Moeckel. To schedule your visit, call (858) 452-1504. You can also fill out our appointment request form here, and we will call you.