The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the place where your jaw attaches to your skull that allows you to open your jaw smoothly. Sometimes the temporomandibular joint is damaged or injured, causing a debilitating condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). If you're having pain or hearing sounds whenever you open your jaw, then schedule an appointment with board-certified dentists Drs. Alan and Yonatan Howard to see if you have TMD. At their office, The Dental Office Encino, Drs. Howard and Howard utilize innovative tools to assess and care for your TMD to alleviate symptoms. Your TMJ treatment at our practice in Encino, CA will depend on the cause of your TMD and your particular condition, but a few choices are oral appliances (night or mouth guards), bite alteration, dental restorations, and more.
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"I have been going to Alan for 30 plus years. He is an amazing and very talented dentist and his son Yoni is following in his footsteps. You will be well taken care of. Their office is state of the art. The hygienists are all terrific and his staff is amazing. If you are looking for a dentist this is the place to pick!!"- D.W. / Yelp / Apr 26, 2018
"Best dentist I’ve ever been to! Professional staff, state of the art equipment and Dr. Howard was kind and knowledgeable."- P.D. / Google / Apr 26, 2018
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction could be brought about by an injury to the jaw, years of jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism), or dental malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth). Other conditions that can result in TMD include a tumor in the temporomandibular joint or arthritis. Sometimes the reason behind TMD cannot be determined, but if you're having symptoms and signs, Dr. Alan or Yonatan Howard can diagnose and care for your TMJ. A few of the most typical signs of TMD are tenderness or pain at the jaw joint, involuntary contractions in your face muscles, feeling as though your jaw is rigid or stuck, and frequent headaches that begin around your ears. Another sign is hearing cracking, clicking, or popping when you use your jaw.
What To Expect
To diagnose a temporomandibular dysfunction, Dr. Howard will listen carefully to understand your concerns prior to a physical exam. Throughout the examination, he will evaluate how your jaw moves and search for indicators of misalignment, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding. He will also palpate the jaw joint and lower face for any swelling and tenderness. Dr. Howard might request digital images of your lower head along with an analysis of your bite to search for underlying factors that will determine your therapy approach. Depending on the examination, he will discuss your treatment choices that might incorporate a mouth guard, teeth straightening, or restorative dentistry (bridges, crowns, and dentures).
Along with treatments to address the root cause of your temporomandibular joint dysfunction, Dr. Howard may suggest different strategies to alleviate pain and other problems on your own. This may include a soft food diet, not biting your nails or chewing gum, applying heat to your jaw, and relaxation methods. Dr. Howard may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaws or prescribe medication to relax your facial muscles (and to alleviate pain, nervousness, or even inflammation).
You should continue to go to follow-up appointments so Dr. Howard can assess the results of your TMJ treatment. If your therapy isn't working, he might look at another strategy. As soon as your TMD is fully treated, you should still schedule yearly dental examinations at The Dental Office Encino to keep your jaw and teeth healthy.
Dental insurance policies for diagnosing TMJ pain and TMD therapies will change, so we'll get in touch with your provider to figure out your personal expenses. Whether you do or don't have dental insurance, Dr. Howard will discuss price quotes when explaining treatment choices. To make all treatment affordable, The Dental Office Encino takes many payment options and we will be able to help you find medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your jaw can make it hard to eat, talk, and enjoy your everyday life. Since there are lots of potential causes, signs, and remedies to treat TMD, make an appointment with Drs. Alan or Yonatan Howard at their practice in Encino, CA. They will perform a detailed exam prior to diagnosing the problem and talking about treatment choices. Get in touch with our staff at The Dental Office Encino to learn more about TMD and make an appointment.