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David Suh Dental
General Dentist & Implant Dentist located in Torrance, CA

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Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder causes ongoing jaw pain and affects up to 12% of Americans. Unlike other pain conditions, TMJ disorder is more commonly seen in younger adults. David Suh, DDS, and the experienced team at David Suh Dental in Torrance, California, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorder. For relief from your jaw pain delivered by a team that prides itself on taking a patient-centered approach to care, contact the office by phone today.

TMJ Disorder Q&A

What is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder?

TMJ disorder is a painful condition that involves the joints and muscles that connect your jaw to your head. These joints enable you to talk, chew, and yawn, as well as move your jaw forward and backward and from side to side. 

Any issue that interferes with the normal functioning of this joint leads to the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. The pain condition may be caused by arthritis, injury, or altered tooth or jaw alignment. Teeth grinding and stress may also lead to TMJ disorder. 


What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

For most people, TMJ disorder symptoms are temporary and resolve with at-home care. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain that travels through the face, jaw, or neck

  • Stiff jaw muscles

  • Decreased jaw mobility or locking of the jaw

  • Painful clicking or popping in the jaw

  • Difficulty chewing

TMJ disorder may also change the way your upper and lower teeth fit together. Though your TMJ symptoms may resolve on their own, if your pain is severe or you’re unable to open or close your jaw properly, contact David Suh Dental for an evaluation.

How is TMJ disorder diagnosed?

Dr. Suh specializes in TMJ disorder and can diagnose the condition after a comprehensive evaluation. During your evaluation, Dr. Suh asks detailed questions about your symptoms, as well as your dental and medical history. Before examining your mouth, he explains his evaluation process in detail to ease your anxiety.

During your TMJ disorder evaluation, he may have you open and close your mouth so he can feel and listen to your joint and assess mobility and alignment. He may also press on various spots around your joint to look for areas of tenderness.

To confirm or rule out a problem with your joint, Dr. Suh may request diagnostic imaging such as X-rays or a CT scan. For your convenience, David Suh Dental offers in-house CT scans.


How is TMJ disorder treated?

Dr. Suh and the team develop individualized treatment plans for TMJ disorder based on the severity of your symptoms, the underlying cause, and your overall oral health. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Diet modification (eating softer foods)

  • Use of ice packs to alleviate pain

  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication

  • Oral devices (night guard or bite plate) to alleviate joint stress

  • Exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles

  • Relaxation techniques to reduce jaw tension and stress

In rare cases, surgery may be needed to alleviate jaw pain. 

For management of your TMJ disorder, call David Suh Dental today. 

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