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The temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw are somewhat complex, which allows them to perform the sophisticated movements of biting, chewing and grinding food. This is possible thanks to a series of muscles, tendons, and ligaments working in concert with the jaw. This allows your lower jaw to slip and to apply grinding force.

Unfortunately, there are times when mechanical injury or inflammation issues in these joints can lead to discomfort and pain. The general term used for these issues is TMJ disorder, and it can result from a number of different sources.

Since the joints are so complex, they can sometimes develop pain or inflammation resulting from seemingly mundane sources. Employing a two-stage treatment strategy helps your dentist, Dr. John Hobgood, identify the cause and mitigate symptoms.

It starts with some minor changes to your daily habits. This includes eating softer foods, applying ice packs to the area, performing some basic jaw stretching exercises, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.

If you don’t experience significant symptom relief in a few weeks, Dr. John Hobgood will then start to explore more advanced treatment strategies. This might involve taking prescription anti-inflammatory medication, wearing a night guard when you sleep or using prescription muscle relaxers.

If this still does not provide relief from your TMJ disorder symptoms, Dr. John Hobgood will discuss more invasive procedures with you. This might include things like acupuncture, the use of a stabilization splint, or surgical intervention.

If you suspect that you’re developing TMJ disorder in New Orleans, Louisiana, you should call Algiers Dental Associates at 504-361-3277 to seek treatment.