San Ramon Cosmetic Dentistry Blog | Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S.

San Ramon, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek and Dublin, CA

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Facial Pain and Your Jaw

Ongoing facial pain afflicts over 15% of Americans. Manifestations of facial pain include discomfort in or around the ear, jaw tenderness, clicking or popping when opening the mouth and head and neck pain. I frequently see patients complaining of jaw pain in my dental office.

Joints and jaw muscles allow correct opening and closing of the mouth. These muscles and ligaments and the mandible (lower jaw) with its two temporomandibular joints are essential to many functions. Located on each side of the head in front of the ear, the temporomandibular joints’ movements include the rotating and gliding actions we require when speaking and chewing. Anything the keeps these elements from performing their proper function may cause facial pain.

Factors leading to facial pain include:

• Bite misalignment
• Tooth grinding
• Stress

Some treatment options are:
• Correction of jaw misalignment
• Stress-reducing exercises
• Muscle relaxants
• Mouth protectors for teeth grinding

If you or a loved one is experiencing jaw or facial pain or other painful TMD symptoms, don’t just live with the pain. If you live in San Ramon, California or any surrounding area of San Ramon, please call 925-837-4486 to make an appointment with Dr. Sean Anderson today.

posted by Evan Langsted at 11:56 AM

Depression and TMD

In my clinical experience, patients sometimes suffer with TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) for years before being properly diagnosed. Their pain may be disregarded because it has no apparent physical cause. It’s no wonder that TMD and depression commonly go hand-in-hand. Also, strong evidence suggests that chronic pain itself can lead to depression by altering chemicals in the brain.

Because TMD is a complex condition, many patients need more that one specialist to help them attain good health. Patients should work with a neuromuscular dentist, possibly a psychological counselor and sometimes a chiropractor or their family doctor. Many patients receive full pain relief their neuromuscular dentist, however. They are also relieved to know that an actual condition is causing their pain.

I can help you find out if TMD is the cause of your pain and depression. To do so, I’ll typically need to take the following steps:

  • Determine if your jaw is misaligned by using computerized tracking tools that measure jaw movement, resting state, and closure path
  • Measure the relationship of your jaw to your skull to note any structural imbalances.
  • Use sonography to record jaw joint sounds that may be abnormal
  • Take x-rays of the jaw to help evaluate the positioning of the joint

If you live in the San Ramon, California area (or a surrounding area), please contact the office to make an appointment with Dr. Sean Anderson today.

posted by Evan Langsted at 10:27 AM


Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S
Neuromuscular & Aesthetic Cosmetic Dentistry

1501 Bollinger Canyon Road Suite G
San Ramon, CA 94583

Disclaimer: San Ramon, CA cosmetic dentist Dr. Sean Anderson's website only provides information on cosmetic dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, and family dentistry in Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton , Walnut Creek
and the San Ramon area south of San Francisco. This information is not to be taken as medical advice.
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