Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial pain. Most are unaware that their condition is dental related. Dr. Deol specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). With an oral appliance or stress-relief treatments, we offer effective TMJ therapy in our San Ramon, CA dental office, to alleviate your nagging pain.
While the exact cause of TMJ is unknown and contributing factors vary, the disorder often results from injury or stress. Other causes include genetics, hormones, arthritis, and auto-immune disease. The most common symptom is frequent headaches. Other symptoms of TMJ include:
Dr. Deol may be able to alleviate your pain with TMJ therapy. After a thorough examination, he will determine the type of therapy that will benefit you most effectively. Each patient is unique, but treatment may include an oral appliance, muscle relaxants, or tooth reshaping. For many, treatment is completed in as little as three to six months.
An equilibration or occlusal adjustment is a minor, non-invasive procedure where we will slightly adjust your teeth so they come together more evenly, dispersing force equally on both jaw joints. This will keep one joint from having to do more work than the other, which can result in facial pain, jaw tension, and teeth grinding. Before we start making adjustments, we’ll take an impression of your teeth to find any areas of your bite that hit harder than other locations and gently buff them down to make sure that this doesn’t happen anymore.
An occlusal splint is a custom-designed orthotic device that you can wear in your mouth while you sleep to gently and gradually shift your jaw into alignment. It also serves an additional purpose of protecting your teeth from nightly grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism. As the splint is worn on a nightly basis, you’ll start to feel relief from all of the uncomfortable TMD symptoms you’ve been experiencing, such as earaches, migraines, and neck and shoulder pain.
A trigger point is a small portion of a muscle that can be extremely sensitive or painful, and one can develop in the TMJ area as a result of excess tension, strain, or injury. Rather than treating the entire muscle, a small amount of local anesthetic can be injected into the trigger point to soothe the discomfort and jumpstart healing. The anesthetic may be mixed with a steroidal medication to speed up the process, and you might be given daily jaw stretches to help with long-term relief as well.