The temporomandibular joints are the hinges on which the lower jaw opens and closes. There are a number of reasons why the complex system of bone, muscles, and ligaments may not work in harmony. Patients who experience discomfort and pain from their temporomandibular joint may be diagnosed with TMD, an often painful disorder that can make speaking, chewing, and swallowing difficult. Gaining an accurate diagnosis of the cause of TMD is an important first step for patients who seek relief from TMD. The condition tends to worsen with time, meaning early intervention can lead to better long-term outcomes.
Dr. Ahn has advanced training in determining the cause of TMD and treating the condition. Her training in orthodontics allows Dr. Ahn to determine if the problem is caused by teeth misalignment, degenerative jaw issues, or other problems related to the teeth, jaw, or face. There are a number of effective treatment options for TMD. Dr. Ahn will seek conservative, non-surgical treatments like physical therapy or orthopedic appliances before recommending more invasive treatments.