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Brightleaf Dental

Nazila Satvat, DDS

Cosmetic Dentist & Holistic Dentist located in Santa Monica, CA

If you’re constantly grinding your teeth or wake up with facial pain, your jaw pain may be related to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Nazila Satvat, DDS, at Brightleaf Dental is a leading provider of dental health care services for patients throughout Santa Monica, California. Dr. Satvat can help patients dealing with TMJ pain using the most effective treatments including bite guards and pain management. If TMJ is affecting your everyday tasks, call the office or schedule an appointment online for a consultation.


What are TMJ disorders?

TMJ disorders affect the temporomandibular joint of the jaw and can cause pain. This joint acts as a hinge which connects the person’s jawbone to the skull. Pain can be felt in this area and in the muscles which control the joint when a person has a TMJ disorder.

The exact cause of the pain is typically difficult to pin down. This is because several different factors can contribute to the pain including:

  • A jaw injury
  • Arthritis
  • Teeth clenching
  • Teeth grinding

In many situations, the TMJ disorders can be addressed with over-the-counter pain medications and self-care, but in some more severe case complications can develop and surgery may be required.

What symptoms are experienced with TMJ disorders?

The symptoms most commonly related to TMJ disorders can include:

  • Headaches
  • Aching facial pain
  • Tenderness or pain in jaw area
  • Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
  • Pain inside or near the ear
  • Locking of the joint which can cause difficulty opening and closing the mouth

A grating feeling or clicking noise produced when moving the jaw can also be an indication of a disorder in the temporomandibular joint. Medical attention is commonly sought when the pain or tenderness does not get better and if it is especially severe.

Contact Dr. Satvat right away if it becomes difficult to open and close the mouth.

What treatments are used for TMJ disorders?

When the pain and discomfort continue to worsen, medications can help reduce the pain and physical therapy can assist in loosening the stiff muscle and tendons of the joint.

Muscle relaxants, pain relievers, and sedatives are the most frequently prescribed medications at the practice. Bite guards can also assist to align the jaw and keep the person from grinding or clenching their teeth while asleep.

In the most severe instances, injections of pain medication can be delivered straight to the site or surgery can be employed. Surgery is typically performed for people who have structural problems which are causing the disorder.

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of TMJ, schedule an appointment at Brightleaf Dental today by phone or through the online booking tool.