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TMJ Specialist

South County Sleep Solutions

Dental Sleep Medicine located in Newport Beach, CA

If your jaw is popping or you find it difficult to open or close your mouth, don’t delay an evaluation for TMJ at South County Sleep Solutions in Newport Beach, California. Experienced dental specialist Dr. Dana Rockey offers diagnostic and treatment services for disorders affecting the temporomandibular joints of your jaw. Dr. Rockey can tailor a treatment plan to your needs using oral appliances and other therapies to ease existing pain and prevent additional jaw complications. Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Rockey by calling South County Sleep Solutions today.

TMJ Q & A

What is TMJ?

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a ball and socket structure in your joint that allows you to open and close your mouth. You have one joint on each side of your mouth, in front of your ear. These joints also make it possible for you to:

  • Chew
  • Yawn
  • Talk

When there’s damage to the temporomandibular joint, you may find it difficult to move your jaw without pain or experience a locked-jaw condition where you can’t open or close your mouth completely.

What causes TMJ?

While TMJ is an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint itself, it’s also used to refer to any temporomandibular disorder that affects the health and alignment of your jaw. This disorder can result for no specific reason or due to:

  • Injury
  • Arthritis
  • Teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism)

You may also develop pain or dysfunction in a temporomandibular joint because of the degeneration of the joint itself, whether due to disease or natural age-related changes.

For some, misalignment in the upper and lower teeth can also lead to complications in the temporomandibular joints.

How is a TMJ disorder diagnosed?

To evaluate the health and function of your jaw, Dr. Rockey may recommend X-rays along with a comprehensive dental exam. He can determine if your pain is the result of the jaw joint or teeth being out of alignment or if it stems from another underlying health condition.

During your exam, Dr. Rockey evaluates the range of motion and flexibility you have in your temporomandibular joints. Based on the physical exam and imaging tests, he can customize a treatment plan to restore your jaw health.

How is TMJ treated?

Initially, Dr. Rockey may recommend heat or ice therapy to reduce swelling in your jaw and ease your pain. You may also benefit from over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories to keep you comfortable.

If you grind or clench your teeth, Dr. Rockey can recommend a custom-fit oral appliance that goes over your teeth to protect them from damage.

You may also be a candidate for physical therapy to strengthen your jaw muscles and prevent additional jaw complications.

If you need relief from chronic jaw pain, schedule a diagnostic evaluation for TMJ with Dr. Rockey by calling South County Sleep Solutions today.