Headaches, clicking, and pain in the jaw can affect your quality of life.
They may also be a sign of TMJ disorder and treatment can help relieve your symptoms.
Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen in Fountain Valley, CA, uses advanced training and technology to diagnose and treat the effects of TMD.
Understanding the Difference Between TMJ and TMD
People often use the term TMJ to describe the disorder. However, TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. These joints connect the lower jaw to your skull.
TMD, also known as temporomandibular disorder or TMJ disorder, is the disorder or condition that affects the TMJs.
Symptoms of TMD
Temporomandibular disorder includes a variety of possible symptoms that involve the TMJ. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Stiffness and pain in the jaw
- Clicking sounds in the jaw
- Popping in the ears
- Teeth grinding
- Restricted jaw movement
- Jaw clenching
- Tension and pain in the neck, face, and shoulders
- Difficulty sleeping
When left untreated, issues with the TMJs can affect your overall quality of life, causing disturbances in your sleep and concentration. TMD can also cause excessive wear on your teeth and degeneration of the jaw joints.
Is Bruxism the Same As Temporomandibular Disorder?
Bruxism is the act of clenching or grinding your teeth. This can occur when you are awake or during sleep. Bruxism can be a symptom of stress or anxiety, but some patients also report bruxism while concentrating on some tasks. In these cases, relaxation exercises such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can be helpful. However, the condition can also be caused by certain medications. Not all people with bruxism have TMD.
Just because you grind or clench your teeth doesn't mean you have TMD. However, if you do have recurrent bruxism, you have an increased risk of developing TMD. Swift treatment for bruxism can help prevent further stress on your temporomandibular joints. Something as simple as a nightguard can protect your jaw and your teeth to prevent further issues and damage.
Your Headaches Could Be Caused by TMD Our Fountain Valley, CA, Dental Practice Can Help
Issues with the temporomandibular joint are often overlooked as a cause of chronic headaches as they are often blamed on stress and other conditions. However, problems with the TMJ can contribute to chronic headaches, and some patients often don't realize they are a TMD symptom. If you suffer from recurring headaches and migraines, Dr. Mortensen can examine your mouth, teeth, and jaw to determine if your headaches are a symptom of TMJ disorder.
Think your headaches could be TMD? Contact us today.
Causes of TMD
Orthodontic issues such as a misaligned bite can be the culprit of TMD. As you try to compensate or realign your bite to eat and speak, this causes additional strain on the joints.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can be major contributors to temporomandibular disorders. Patients who are stressed or anxious often report bruxism, which is characterized as jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Bruxism puts added stress on your temporomandibular joints and teeth.
Certain health-related issues such as arthritis, infections, and autoimmune conditions can put you at a higher risk for developing TMJ disorders. Genetics can also play a factor in your risk of developing TMD.
Hear From Happy Fountain Valley, CA, Patients
Great staff and wonderful dentist who really took the time to explain to me my options. Dr. Mortensen really put me at ease.View on Google
Dr Mortensen had been my dentist for... 30 years???!! The best dentist I ever had. Also, his office is very friendly. I highly recommend him.View on Google
You Don't Have to Live With TMJ Pain Call Our Fountain Valley Dental Practice Today
Issues and pain with the temporomandibular joint can affect your quality of life and lead to further oral health concerns. Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen and his team are here to help get you the relief you need and deserve.
Dr. Mortensen has over 40 years of experience in the field of dentistry and trained at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute. He can treat your TMD to help ease and eliminate your symptoms. Contact us today using our online form or call our dental practice in Fountain Valley, CA, to schedule a consultation.
Who Is at Risk for Developing TMD?
Middle-age patients are more likely to develop bruxism which can then develop into TMD. Children and elderly patients are less likely to develop TMD.
Those With a Family History
Genetics may play a role in your risk of developing TMD. Some studies suggest that if you have a family member with TMD, you may be at an increased risk. However, more research is needed to confirm this theory.
Statistically, women develop temporomandibular joint disorders more often than men. In fact, about 80% of patients who are treated for TMD are women.
Why Choose Our Fountain Valley Practice for TMD Diagnosis and Treatment?
Over 40 Years of Experience
Issues with the TMJ can be difficult to diagnose and are often misdiagnosed. This means you need a dentist with the experience and skills to accurately identify and treat your TMD, relieving your pain and preserving your teeth and jaw joints.
Dr. Mortensen uses advanced technology, such as digital X-rays and 3D imaging. This gives him an unparalleled view of your teeth, bones, and joints, allowing him to accurately diagnose his patients and provide effective long-lasting relief.
Call us today to schedule your consultation and get relief from painful TMD.
"I put my full trust in them..."
I am a person who hates absolutely hates to go to the dentist. However I saw Dr Mortenson today with his stuff and I have to say I have truly never met a better group of people for the office staff is all amazing and friendly and kind and Dr Mortenson himself makes you feel like you’ve known him forever and he’s very wise. I put my full trust in them and I’m so looking forward to To having the rest of my dental work done. I cannot believe I’m actually writing this! Lol I’ve never looked forward to going to the dentist, However I’m not terrified of Dr Mortenson!View on Google
You will love this practice: such competence, accommodation, superb client service, pleasant atmosphere and the most splendid staff working with a remarkable, experienced and talented dentist. Make an appointment - you won't regret it, and, on the contrary, you will be so pleased!View on Google
TMD Diagnosis and Treatment
During your consultation at our Fountain Valley, CA, dental practice, your dentist will discuss your symptoms and examine your mouth and jaw to determine your physiologic rest position. Using digital X-rays and advanced imaging technology, Dr. Mortensen will carefully map your temporomandibular joints.
Once your physiologic rest position is determined, your dentist will use the images of your mouth, teeth, and TMJs to develop a personalized treatment plan. This treatment plan is completely customized to your needs and may include:
Dr. Mortensen may use neuromuscular dentistry to treat TMD. Neuromuscular dentistry focuses on correcting a misaligned jaw and relaxing the muscles in the jaw to ease the stress and strain on the joints.
Splint therapy works by using custom splits to reposition your jaw. This relieves stress and tension on the joints, prevents teeth grinding, and moves your jaw to a more comfortable position. These custom splints are usually worn at night but can be worn during the day as well.
Orthodontic treatments such as traditional braces or clear aligners work by realigning your bite. Orthodontic treatment can provide you with TMJ pain relief as it relieves stress on the TMJs and prevents wear on your teeth.
Anti-inflammatory medications can not only help relieve the pain associated with TMD, but also the inflammation that is often a symptom of TMD. By reducing inflammation and pain, tension is often relieved, which can put further stress on your TMJs.
Minimally invasive techniques are the first line of treatment before other approaches and treatments are considered. Dr. Mortensen will only recommend surgery if it is absolutely needed or if non-invasive therapy such as splints and orthodontic work fails.
Have questions about TMD treatment? We have answers!
Take a Closer Look at the Effects of TMD
Frequently Asked Questions About Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Does treatment for TMD hurt?
No. We recommend conservative treatments whenever possible and visiting us can often relieve painful TMJs. If you require a procedure like a dental crown to realign your bite, we will administer local anesthetic to completely numb the area. For especially nervous patients, we offer sedation dentistry so you can remain relaxed throughout the entire procedure.
Will insurance pay for my TMD treatment?
Treatment for TMD is often considered medically necessary, not elective, so it is at least partially covered. However, this will vary based on your dental insurance plan and provider. We accept many types of insurance to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs. We will verify your coverage before your treatment begins so you can plan and budget.
I have symptoms, but it isn't painful. Should I still seek treatment?
Yes. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent excessive wear and stress on your temporomandibular joints as well as your teeth. This can prevent painful symptoms from developing later. Prompt treatment can also save you time and money later as excessive wear can require more serious and invasive treatments later.
"Truthful, Knowledgeable and Sincere"
My dental health Fam is always on time with ALL my dental needs. Dr Mortensen welcomed me to the family back in 1987. I love the fact that my Fam is truthful, knowledgeable and sincere. And, YASS…I have gave a beautiful smile!!View on Google
Best dental professional and staff in OC. Been a patient for 12-13 years. Never had a bad experience. Highly recommended.View on Google