Woman grabbing forehead in frustration

TMJ Disorders in Encino & San Fernando Valley

What is TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJs) is located in front of your ears, and is the anatomical position where your lower jaw meets your skull. Teeth grinding and/or clenching, also called bruxism, can irritate the soft tissue surrounding the joint causing the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to become inflamed. 

While teeth grinding is a common contributor to of TMJ disorders, there are various other reasons that your TMJ can become irritated, such as:

  • Missing teeth
  • Arthritis
  • Traumatic injury to the head and neck region
  • Dislocation of the ball and socket of the TMJ
  • Family history
  • Stress
  • Poor posture
  • Overuse of the jaw such as excessive gum chewing
Diagram of a skull indicating the TMJ joint - TMJ Disorders

The Facts on TMJ Disorder

TMJ pain can affect nearly every aspect of your life, leaving you unable to enjoy the foods you love and restricting the activities you want to do. The severity of your symptoms can range from pain with chewing to restriction in jaw movement. TMJ disorders can cause your gums to recede, develop loose teeth, and increase your chances of a tooth fracture as well as lead to headaches, earaches, and neckaches.

TMJ disorders, also known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders), can be short-lived or chronic, lasting months or even years and may also be intermittent. Luckily, our treatment methods can help put an end to your pain and prevent future TMD exacerbations.

Treatment for TMJ Disorder 

While your pain may be intermittent or moderate, it’s important to seek treatment to prevent further issues and resolve your pain. Dr. Simmons is an orofacial pain specialist with decades of experience, knowledge, and expertise. He’s equipped and qualified to treat complex cases so you can get the relief you need. Utilizing a holistic approach, Dr. Simmons may suggest several different methods to treat your unique condition. 

One of which is with the help of various designs of an oral appliance. A customized oral appliance will prevent teeth from touching, thereby keeping your jaw open and free of painful clenching. In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended but that’s after you’ve exhausted all the less-invasive treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your jaw pops and causes pain throughout the day, we recommend coming in to have your TMJ evaluated. Even mild cases of TMJ can progress and become severe over time. Dr. Simmons can determine the severity of your TMJ condition and start treatment immediately so you can start living your life without pain. 

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on both sides of your head, near your ears. These joints help your jaw to open and close when you eat, speak, and yawn. If something happens to affect your TMJ, you may end up with a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Your TMJ can be affected by a variety of factors, including arthritis, an accident, or stress. 

Yes, TMJ issues can be associated with to hearing loss. Your TMJs are on either side of your head, located near your ears. If there’s an issue with your joints, you may experience fullness in your ears or a sense of hearing loss due to the proximity.

The good news is that treatment for TMD may help you with your ear symptoms and often coordinated care with an otolaryngologist addresses ear symptoms from two different approaches. As the stress on your joints is relieved, the condition of your ears will also likely improve. Your hearing may change depending on the severity of your TMD and your treatment options.

There are several long-term effects of leaving TMD untreated, as it can increase your risk of developing serious health problems. Without proper treatment, TMJ disorder may result in tooth loss, jaw bone deterioration, nerve damage, migraines, headaches, or even hearing problems. 

That’s why it’s crucial to give us a call if you’re experiencing pain related to TMJ disorder or think you may be suffering from TMD. Dr. Simmons and our exceptional team will get to the root of the problem and help put an end to your pain.

Alleviating Your Pain Is Our Mission

With decades of experience, Dr. Simmons has the knowledge and skillset to diagnose and treat your TMJ disorder so you can live your life free of TMJ pain. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Simmons, contact our office by calling (818) 300-0070 or simply fill out the contact form and we’ll get back to you soon.