TMJ Pain

Kiran Rapal, DDS -  - General Dentist

Kiran Rapal, DDS

General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Saratoga, CA and serving Cupertino, Campbell, and San Jose, CA

If you’re one of the 10 million people in the United States who live with persistent jaw pain, you can find help at Kiran Rapal DDS, Inc. in Saratoga, Cupertino, Campbell, and San Jose, California. Dr. Rapal offers on-site diagnostic resources such as digital X-rays to evaluate the health of your jaw. She offers customized treatment solutions for TMJ pain, including oral appliances and stress reduction exercises, to improve jaw function and address teeth grinding and clenching. Learn more about available solutions for TMJ pain by calling the office of Kiran Rapal DDS, Inc. or by requesting a consultation online today.

TMJ Pain Q&A

What is TMJ pain?

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your jawbone to your skull and work like hinges, so you can chew food, speak, and move your jaw freely in different ways.

When you have pain in this joint, it may be due to an injury or a degenerative disease like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Many people develop TMJ pain because they grind their teeth at night or persistently clench their teeth throughout the day, a condition known as bruxism.

When should I seek treatment for TMJ pain?

Many times, TMJ pain is temporary, and you can treat it with over-the-counter medications. However, if your pain persists and you can’t find relief with home care, Dr. Rapal recommends scheduling an evaluation of your jaw and overall dental health.

You should also request an appointment if you have symptoms like:

  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Pain while chewing
  • Frequent locking of your jaw

If you notice your jaw clicks or you feel a grating sensation in the joint when you move your mouth, you need an evaluation of your jaw joints. Dr. Rapal offers digital X-rays in the office to get a close-up look at your joints and determine the best course of treatment.

How is TMJ pain treated?

Initially, treating TMJ pain involves over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. You may also find relief by placing an ice pack over your jaw.

If these treatments aren’t enough to reduce or prevent recurrent jaw pain, you may need a minimally invasive procedure to remove debris from inside the joint.

Dr. Rapal can also customize an oral appliance (mouth guard) that fits snugly over your teeth while you sleep if you grind or clench your teeth. In addition to preventing TMJ pain, the appliance can protect your teeth from wearing down and breaking. Dr. Rapal also offers a dental sleep apnea appliance as another option for TMJ treatment.

You may also need to avoid chewing gum or hard foods to prevent pain. Dr. Rapal can teach you jaw-stretching exercises to improve your jaw function and help you relax the muscles in your face.

If you have persistent jaw pain and can’t treat it on your own, schedule a TMJ pain evaluation online or by calling the office of Kiran Rapal DDS, Inc. today.