While TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders are commonly associated with adults, children and adolescents can also experience these issues. At Smile Angels of Beverly Hills, Dr. Bruce Vafa, a renowned TMJ specialist in Los Angeles, CA, understands the unique challenges that young patients face. Here’s what parents need to know about children and TMJ disorders.
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Understanding TMJ Disorders in Children
TMJ disorders affect the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. These disorders can lead to discomfort, difficulty chewing, jaw popping, and even headaches. In children, symptoms may present differently or be more subtle. Dr. Bruce Vafa, with years of experience as a TMJ specialist in Los Angeles, emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and intervention.
Causes and Symptoms
In children, TMJ disorders can result from:
- Injury: Falls or sports injuries can damage the TMJ.
- Bruxism: Teeth grinding and clenching, often linked to stress or dental issues.
- Arthritis: Though rare, some children may have types of arthritis that affect the TMJ.
- Developmental Problems: Misalignment of the jaw and teeth can lead to TMJ disorders.
Symptoms in children may include:
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Difficulty or discomfort while chewing
- Ear pain without infection
- Headaches or migraines
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw
Diagnosis and Treatment by TMJ Specialist Dr. Bruce Vafa
If you suspect your child may have a TMJ disorder, seeking expertise from a TMJ specialist like Dr. Bruce Vafa in Los Angeles, CA, is essential. Diagnosis may involve a detailed examination, patient history, and specialized imaging.
Treatment plans are tailored to each child and may include:
- Oral Appliances: Customized guards to reduce clenching and grinding.
- Therapy and Exercises: To strengthen and relax the jaw muscles.
- Medication: For pain and inflammation control.
- Surgery: In rare cases, a surgical approach may be required.
Protecting Your Child’s Health in Los Angeles
TMJ disorders in children may seem overwhelming, but with the help of a skilled TMJ specialist like Dr. Bruce Vafa, relief and recovery are attainable. Early intervention and a specialized treatment plan can make a significant difference in your child’s quality of life.
At Smile Angels of Beverly Hills, we prioritize your child’s well-being, offering comprehensive care for children and TMJ disorders in the Los Angeles area. Reach out to us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Vafa, and take the first step towards understanding and treating your child’s TMJ disorder.