Cynthia Stephenson, DDS, is the owner of a general and cosmetic dentistry practice in Walnut Creek, California. At the clinic, Dr. Cynthia Stephenson and her team provide a wide variety of services including TMJ treatments.
The temporomandibular joint, better known as TMJ, is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. When an individual experiences pain in this region, they may be diagnosed with TMJ syndrome.
Though caused by a problem with the joint itself, the pain from TMJ syndrome may be felt in the rest of the face and ear, or cause neck pain and headaches. The jaw may lock in place, click or pop during chewing, or be difficult to maneuver.
While home remedies such as applying an ice pack, massage, and anti-inflammatory medication can ease or eradicate TMJ pain, medical treatment may be required for more serious cases.
Physical therapy is often recommended in these instances. The treatment is safe and non-invasive and is known to be beneficial. In extreme cases, when all other avenues have been exhausted or an internal issue is suspected, surgery may be undertaken. The procedure, called arthrocentesis, employs local anesthesia and needle, which is inserted to clean and moisten the joint.