Skip to main content

How We Can Help You Find Relief from that Aching Jaw, Face, and Teeth

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 5-12% 

of adults worldwide have problems and pain related to the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) in their jaws. Women seem to be affected more often than men, and younger adults tend to experience more pain.

A TMJ disorder can create a wide variety of sometimes surprising symptoms. Dana J. Rockey, DMD, is an expert dentist at South County Sleep Solutions in Newport Beach, California, who focuses on wellness-based dentistry. 

Here he discusses what a TMJ disorder is, what symptoms your misaligned jaw might cause, and how we can help you find relief. 

A healthy TMJ moves smoothly

Each TMJ connects your jawbone to your skull, just under the level of your ear. When your TMJ is healthy, you can easily and smoothly open your jaw to speak, sing, yawn, or chew. You can also move it from side to side without pain or catching.

However, if you have a TMJ disorder, sometimes incompletely referred to as TMJ, your jaw may click or pop when you open or close it. You might also have trouble fully opening your jaw due to pain or limited mobility.

TMJ disorders affect your entire face

When your TMJ isn’t working properly, it can cause a variety of symptoms that affect your entire facial region. Some common symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:

If you have chronic pain or bruxism associated with a TMJ disorder, you may also have trouble sleeping. Feeling fatigued throughout the day is a dangerous symptom that puts you at increased risk for accidents and serious illnesses, including heart attack and stroke. 

Why you have a TMJ disorder

Unfortunately, TMJ doesn’t have the same cause for everyone. You may have been born with a slight misalignment in your jaw that’s gotten worse over time.

You might also have suffered an accident, such as whiplash, that stressed your jaw and interfered with its proper alignment. Grinding your teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism, or even clenching your jaw when you’re under pressure can also contribute to a TMJ disorder. Osteoarthritis in your TMJ can cause or exacerbate pain and dysfunction.

How to treat TMJ

Dr. Rockey takes a holistic, supportive approach to all dental and sleep issues, including TMJ disorder. To get a full picture of why your TMJ isn’t functioning properly, he takes X-rays and conducts a thorough dental examination. He also evaluates the range of motion of your jaw and checks your teeth for evidence of bruxism.

His goal is to resolve your symptoms and improve the health of your TMJ without invasive procedures, such as surgery. Instead, he may recommend treatments such as:

An oral appliance also helps you sleep better if you snore excessively or have obstructive sleep apnea. 

Why you should treat TMJ

If your TMJ is mild and doesn’t cause symptoms, you may not need any treatment. However, if you have trouble opening or closing or jaw, or if you suffer from bruxism, your TMJ could worsen over time and cause serious jaw damage.

For TMJ evaluation and treatment, contact the friendly team at South County Sleep Solutions by calling 949-642-4632 or using the online booking form today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can You Eat Your Way to Better Sleep?

Can You Eat Your Way to Better Sleep?

You’ve heard that, “You are what you eat,” but did you know that there’s some truth to, “You sleep how you eat?” There are many ways to promote better sleep, and diet is one of them.
Is Untreated Sleep Apnea Hard on Your Heart?

Is Untreated Sleep Apnea Hard on Your Heart?

The connection between sleep apnea and poor sleep is obvious, but did you know that the condition can negatively impact your heart health? That’s why treating your sleep apnea is so important.
How Does Home Sleep Testing Work?

How Does Home Sleep Testing Work?

You have daytime symptoms that point toward a nighttime problem, namely sleep apnea, and you want answers. The first step is to conduct an at-home sleep study, and here’s how this simple test works.
How Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Mental Well-being?

How Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Mental Well-being?

Sleep apnea, which affects millions of people in the United States, can lead to a host of serious problems, and some involve your mental health. From anxiety to depression, sleep apnea can take its toll on your mental well-being.