Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. Problems with this joint are known as TMJ disorder (TMD). This disorder can interfere with everyday life and cause patients pain and discomfort. TMD is most common in patients between the ages of 20 and 40, and women tend to be more affected than men.

woman jaw pain

Symptoms and Causes

There are several causes of TMJ disorder, including jaw injury, chronic grinding of the teeth, and arthritis. It is also believed that issues with the jaw muscles can cause TMJ disorder. Some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Tenderness or pain in the face, jaw, neck, shoulders, and in or around the ear; especially when speaking or chewing
  • Difficulty opening the mouth wide
  • Jaw “locks” or gets stuck
  • Headaches or toothaches
  • Fatigue in the facial muscles
  • Ringing in the ears or hearing problems
  • Swelling on one or both sides of the face

Your orthodontist will do a physical examination to rule out any other causes of your jaw pain. You may need to have an X-ray or MRI done to pinpoint the source of your issues.

How Orthodontic Surgery Can Help

There are several options for treating TMJ disorder. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the disorder. If less invasive treatments such as night guards or dental work do not remedy the problem, your orthodontist may recommend surgery. Three surgical methods can be used to correct TMJ disorder.

Arthrocentesis

Arthrocentesis is a procedure that your dentist can do in his office if you do not have a history of TMJ disorder but your jaw tends to stick. It is performed under general anesthesia. Needles are inserted into the joint, and the joint is cleaned out using a tool to remove damaged tissue, dislodge a stuck joint disc, or to unstick the joint itself.

Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is done using an arthroscope, a tool that uses a small camera to inspect the joints. This procedure is also done under general anesthesia. A small incision is made in front of your ear, and the arthroscope is inserted into the joint. Using a video screen, your surgeon will remove inflamed tissue and realign the joint if necessary. This procedure is minimally invasive and, therefore, has a lower risk of complications. It will leave a small scar but requires less recovery time than major surgery.

Open-Joint Surgery

Open-joint surgery is done when arthrocentesis or arthroscopy is not enough to treat severe jaw issues. Open-joint surgery may be necessary if:

  • The bones in your jaw joint are being worn away
  • The jaw joint has scarring or is being hindered by bone chips
  • There are tumors in or around the joint

This procedure is also performed under general anesthesia. The area is opened up to allow your doctor access to the joint. Recovery time is longer for open-joint surgery, and there is a higher risk of nerve injuries or scarring.

 

If you are struggling with jaw pain or having difficulty chewing and speaking, schedule a consultation with us today at (310) 454-0317.

As an adult, correcting orthodontic problems becomes a much more complicated process, since untreated malocclusions (misalignment of the teeth) typically worsens the longer they go without professional intervention. When children are young, their mouths are still malleable and easier to correct than an adult’s mouth.

Making sure your child has regular visits to an orthodontist can help prevent years of self-consciousness and the development of much more serious health issues. Ensuring that your child visits Dr. Jacobson at the Orthodontic Center LA gives them the best possible chance of attaining perfect and expedient results.

Common Problems for Children

Uneven bites, crooked teeth, excessive spacing, or tooth crowding are just a handful of the conditions that can be intercepted early and treated before issues like excessive tooth wear, chewing or breathing difficulty, gum recession, tooth loss, jaw joint disorders, or even jaw dysfunction sets in.

In many cases, it is possible to treat these types of malocclusions before the teeth even erupt. Getting ahead of the problem at this stage can save time and money in the long run.

Our society places high importance on the appearance of a smile, which translates into the possibility of children developing a complex about their smile as they enter adulthood, leading to self-confidence and self-image issues. Many of these adults will have to pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets for rigorous procedures to fix a problem that could have been easily remedied in their childhood.

Bringing Your Child to Orthodontic Center LA

During your first visit, Dr. Jacobson will assess the unique structure of your child’s teeth and jaw to identify any potential problems or risks. The American Association of Orthodontics typically recommends that children begin receiving these types of evaluations as early as age 6 or 7.

Dr. Jacobson will utilize his years of expertise in the orthodontic field to find the most effective and efficient treatment possible for any malocclusions that your child may be experiencing. Since Dr. Jacobson has seen more than 7,000 children throughout his career, there is rarely a condition he is not already familiar with.

Whether the treatment is as conventional as braces, invisible braces (hidden on the inside of the teeth), removable braces, retainers, aligners, or Invisalign®, Dr. Jacobson will advise you about the advantages and disadvantages about the various treatment options.

To schedule your child’s appointment, please call Orthodontic Center LA at 310-454-0317.

 

Beautiful pearly whites don’t look quite as attractive when the teeth don’t line up nice and straight. Crooked teeth can be annoying and discouraging, but you have options for straightening them. Have you tried traditional braces before but disliked the look? Are you unhappy with your smile but feel braces may be more than you need? While traditional braces are still recommended for complex issues and bite correction, Invisalign® is an effective way for adults to straighten their teeth without the inconveniences of traditional braces.

No Metal in the Mouth

Our Custom made aligners and Invisalign® aligners are made out of medical-grade thermoplastic polymers. They are flexible, so they feel better in your mouth more than traditional braces. With our custom-made clear aligners or Invisalign®, there are no metal wires to poke you in the cheek and no metal brackets to irritate your lips. Soreness from adjustments is also reduced because the change is more gradual than with traditional braces. In all, our custom made aligners and Invisalign® is a more comfortable option.

Invisalign® Is Less Restrictive

Eat What You Want

While it’s recommended that you wear your custom made clear aligners or Invisalign® aligners at least 20 to 22 hours a day, you are free to remove them periodically. Removal during meals allows you to freely eat foods that are restricted when wearing traditional braces. Foods like popcorn, gum, and other crunchy snacks have to be avoided when wearing conventional braces to prevent food getting stuck or damage to the braces; however, with custom-made clear aligners or Invisalign®, you no longer have to worry about any of that!

Look Professional

The ability to remove your custom made clear aligners or Invisalign® aligners can also help you maintain a polished, professional look when necessary. If you need to attend a formal social function, go to a job interview, or have an important meeting with a client, you have the option to avoid having your teeth hidden by traditional braces with Invisalign®.

A Shorter Timeframe for Treatment

Custom made clear aligners or Invisalign® treatment takes an average of 12 to 18 months. However, if you were to choose traditional braces, your treatment could last anywhere from 18 to 36 months. This variance is due to differences in the conditions being treated. Not only is your treatment duration shorter, but with Invisalign® aligners, most people won’t even notice you have them on.

You Can Visualize Your Results

When you begin your custom made clear aligners or Invisalign® treatment, Dr. Jacobson will perform a 3D mapping procedure of your teeth. His office is one of the best-equipped centers in the country and utilizes a proprietary digital laboratory and 3D software to provide excellent results. From there, a correction strategy for your treatment plan will be developed. You will see a live time-lapse of your teeth being corrected at each stage of the treatment to let you envision the end result of your custom made clear aligners or Invisalign® treatment. Your aligners are created once the treatment plan is finalized, and you will be able to begin treatment within one week!

If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign® treatment options, please call our office to set up your consultation with Dr. Jacobson. We can be reached at (310) 454-0317.