TMJ

The Systemic Dentist

Alireza Panahpour, DDS

Systemic Dentistry located in Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) starts with jaw pain or stiffness and can lead to other health problems, like chronic neck pain. Systemic dentist Alireza Panahpour, DDS, has accreditation in craniofacial epigenetics and specializes in treating TMJ at his office in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Book your diagnostic evaluation by phone or schedule online with Dr. Panahpour today

TMJ Q & A

What is TMJ?

The hinge joints that connect your jaw to your face are called temporomandibular joints. They’re complex and contain cartilage for smooth movement as well as shock-absorbing discs. When the cartilage or disc becomes damaged, one possible result is temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). 

TMJ and bruxism, or teeth grinding, are closely linked. Even if you don’t realize it, you might grind your teeth when you’re stressed or while you sleep. Rheumatoid arthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is another common cause. 

The primary symptom of TMJ is jaw pain, but the condition can cause other difficult symptoms too. If you have TMJ, you may experience:

  • Jaw stiffness
  • Jaw locking open or closed
  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Trouble chewing
  • Clicking or popping sounds with jaw movement
  • A grating or grinding sensation with jaw movement
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together

Systemic dentist Dr. Panahpour specializes in the treatment of TMJ using primarily non-invasive methods. You should book an appointment for a diagnostic evaluation if your TMJ symptoms make it hard for you to eat, speak, or go about your day without pain. 

What are the long-term effects of TMJ?

Over time, TMJ can result in numerous long-term effects that don’t just affect your jaw. If your TMJ leads to bite-misalignment, it can stress the neck section of your spine called the cervical spine. Discomfort within your spine can cause posture issues and pain in your neck and other various areas of your body. 

The changes to your joints from TMJ can also cause airway restriction or injuries to the mandibular condyles -- the bony protrusions on the back of your jawbone where the joint connects to your temples. 

What are my treatment options for TMJ?

Dr. Panahpour conducts an in-depth examination when you come to his office experiencing TMJ symptoms. During a short series of tests, he evaluates both your oral and whole-body health. 

While planning your treatment, he uses principles from chiropractic care, dental orthopedics, cosmetic dentistry, nutrition, and cranial orthopedic manipulation techniques. 

Your TMJ treatment involves various options and may or may not include a custom appliance called a stabilization splint. Additionally, Dr. Panahpour might recommend or prescribe:

  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • A temporary diet of soft foods

Dr. Panahpour helps you explore the factors contributing to your TMJ symptoms, like stress or arthritis. Understanding the factors that play a role in your disorder can help you make necessary habit changes to relieve your symptoms.

Book your appointment by phone or online with systemic dentist Alireza Panahpour, DDS, for comprehensive TMJ care today.