Temporomandibular joint disorder, is also known as “TMJD” or “TMJ disorder.” It is a condition that is directly associated with the jaw joint, but can impact more than you might realize. Symptoms of the condition include everything from popping of the joint, headaches, and muscle pain that radiates through the neck, shoulders and back.

What causes TMJ disorder?

Typically the condition is linked with chronic wear, overuse, and atypical function of the joint. This can be caused by anything from bruxism (clenching and grinding) to misaligned teeth. If the teeth do not bite together properly, the joint must alter its natural movements to perform simple functions like biting and chewing. Or, if the joint is overused, the strain of muscles around it creates symptoms of joint disorder.

You may notice problems like:

  • Side to side deviation as you open and close your mouth
  • Headaches when you wake up in the morning
  • Sharp muscle pain through the face, neck, or even the pack
  • Pain, popping, clicking or locking of the TMJ when opening and closing

What can you do to help stop the pain and discomfort associated with TMJD?

The first step is to eliminate the cause of the disorder. If clenching and grinding are straining the joint, then wearing a bite splint can prevent the muscles from fully engaging. Dr. Alizadeh will create a custom fitted guard that stays snuggly in place while you sleep, work at the desk, or are on your way home from work. The slight space created by separating the upper and lower jaws allow the muscles surrounding the TMJ to relax. In other circumstances, muscle relaxers can provide temporary relief. Alternating a hot or cold compress against the area can also help.

Orthodontic therapy can also be considered an effective way to manage or treat TMJ disorder. This is, of course, if the condition is due to misaligned teeth. If the teeth do not meet together properly, the joint moves the jaw in directions that are not typically appropriate in order to making chewing effective. Correcting this problem allows the jaw to return to a natural pattern of use, reducing strain on the tissues surrounding the joint. Depending on the extent of tooth misalignment that is present, patients can choose from anything from clear Invisalign braces to more traditional types of orthodontics.

Unfortunately, there are still some people that suffer from severe pain and disorders of the joint that prevent them from completing everyday activities – such as talking, chewing, or biting. In this case it may be necessary to operate on the joint in order to enable it to function correctly. Severe damage to the internal structures may mean that surgery is the only option. Although most dentists do not have experience offering surgical therapy for TMJ disorders,Dr. Alizadeh does!

Do you suspect that you are suffering from TMJ disorder? Schedule your exam with our Carmichael dental office today to find out how we can help.

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Dr. Fischer

Dr. Fischer comes from Sandy City Utah, where he graduated from the University of Utah with a background in Medical Biology. Dr. Fischer then was awarded his DDS degree from Loma Linda University here in California. Prior to that, Dr. Fischer worked alongside his father for several years as a design engineer at his father’s dental company. Dr. Fischer has a strong passion for dentistry, he believes in providing his patients with the most modern and up-to-date procedures, and he truly enjoys the variations of procedures he gets to perform daily.

When not practicing dentistry, he can be found spending time with his family. Dr. Fischer and his wife Brittany have twins Kaitly and Kyle, and son Johnny. Outside of his professional activities, Dr. Fischer is also a true adventurist. He has travelled to many countries and enjoys backpacking, scuba diving, para gliding, camping, and hunting just to name a few.

Dr. Huang

Dr. Y. Vinny Huang received his Degree in Dental Surgery in his hometown of Taipei, Taiwan and then went on to receive his Masters in Science and Postgraduate Certificate in Prosthodontics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.

He has been practicing dentistry since 1992 and his area of specialty is Prosthodontics, the treatment and handling of dental and facial problems. Prosthodontics involves the restoration of missing teeth and jaw structure. Dr. Y. Vinny Huang is also a Diplomate of the (ABP) American Board of Prosthodontics and an active member of the (CDA) California Dental Association and the (AAFP) American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and a fellow of the (ACP) American College of Prosthodontists. He is also fluent in Mandarin!

Dr. Y. Vinny Huang was fortunate enough to find his calling at a young age. He grew up watching his grandmother struggle with her dentures on many occasions and has been determined to help others just like her ever since. He is truly passionate about his work and finds great joy in creating beautiful smiles for his patients whether it be on their own or with the help of dental implants. Dr. Y. Vinny Huang makes it his personal mission to educate his patients and community on the importance of oral health and does so with honesty, professionalism and care.

When Dr. Y. Vinny Huang isn’t practicing dentistry or assisting the community, you will find him spending time with his wife and two daughters. He also enjoys being outdoors and staying active whether it be swimming, golfing or playing tennis.

Dr. Visagé

Dr. Visagé graduated his dental degree from University of Pretoria in South Africa (1999). He practiced general dentistry in South Africa and England until 2002. He went on and completed a residency program in Periodontics and Oral Medicine, in South Africa to attain his Masters degree in 2006. He established a successful private specialist practice in Periodontics and Dental Implants. During that time he also served as secretary of the South African Society of Periodontology and still holds specialist registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

 

In 2014, Dr. Visagé and his family relocated to California, and he was invited to the prestigious Program for International Dentists at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 2015, he received the OKU Dental Honour Society Dr Kramer S Award from the UCSF School of Dentistry. In 2016 he received the Dental Honour Society Membership Award and also the Award for Clinical Excellence & Mentoring (UCSF).  He obtained his American Doctorate of Dental Surgery (UCSF) in 2016.

 

The most enjoyable part of his work is getting to know the patients and being able to play a role in improving oral health, which contributes to quality of life. He is truly passionate about dentistry, but strikes a balance between his professional and personal lives.  He maintains his fitness through running, biking and hiking with his family. 

Dr. Visagé and his wife Karlien, have  a  daughter and a son.  When time allows, he and his family enjoys travelling and spending time together. They travel to South Africa as often as time allows, but also enjoy road trips in the USA.