Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the place where your jaw attaches to your skull to enable you to close and open your jaw smoothly. Sometimes the TMJ is damaged or injured, resulting in a debilitating condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). If you're having pain or hearing sounds whenever you open your jaw, then schedule an appointment with highly skilled dentist Dr. Kareem Abraham to see if you have TMD. At his practice, LifeTime Smiles of OC in Santa Ana, CA, Dr. Abraham utilizes innovative tools to examine and care for your TMD and ease the associated pain. Your TMJ therapy will be dependent on the cause of your TMD and your particular condition, but a few choices are oral appliances (night or mouth guards), bite modification, dental restorations, and much more.
"Dr. Abraham and his staff are great! Not only have they seen me, but our three kids (ages 8,8 & 9, yes twins) and our grandma. We've all seen dentists that are highly recommended, from Corona Del Mar to San Jose as we use to live in Silicon Valley, but I can honestly say that Sr.Abraham and his staff (from dental hygienists, front office staff to the Doc himself) are the best I've seen. They are obviously a for profit business, but they go out of their way to make sure you get more value than what you would ever expect. Dr.Kareem is above all, concerned with the overall health of our entire family. He does things like screen his patients for different issues, as a precaution and doesn't charge extra, just to make sure he has a good overall picture of your health and that you're well informed. I think the biggest thing though is everyone in our family likes going to the dentist because it's always a good experience. The doc is wonderful with our kids and they really like him. They've never complained of anything and that's great! I just recently found out that Dr.Kareem was listed as OC's top 10 doctors in Orange Coast magazine and he didn't pay them a dime, it was a total surprise to him."- S.B. / Yelp / Mar 20, 2019
"Great service! Good professional work! A++"- R.L. / Yelp / Jun 20, 2019
"Lifetime Smiles of OC is the best! If you’re looking for a friendly, professional, knowledgeable, kind, and gentle dentist, look no further! Dr. Abraham is second to none, he keeps up with current procedures, products, education, and anything that makes going to the dentist easy for his patients. As a matter of fact, when you go there, you feel like family, not just a nameless person. Dr. Abraham is the BEST at giving shots, totally painless and he constantly checks to make sure you’re comfortable. I have a problem staying numb, he stops at the slightest raise of my hand and gives me more Novocain. He explains everything in great detail and makes sure I understand what he’s doing and why. He takes the fear out of going to the dentist, I actually look forward to seeing him and we talk about a common interest, food. Ana, Raquel, and Haley run the front office. As soon as you walk in, they greet you and ask how you’re doing. They’re so friendly, efficient and professional, they answer questions about insurance, appointments, services, and send out reminders for upcoming appointments. My husband usually has Saturday appointments, but if an opening for a late afternoon appointment is available they’ll call and see if he’d like to go in. Now that’s great service! Jon is an amazing hygienist, he’s so thorough and knowledgeable. I get my teeth cleaned every three months, he keeps me accountable and consistent with my dental health. About a year ago he noticed I had small cracks on some of my teeth, my bite was off and it was damaging my teeth. He recommended Invisalign, thank you Jon! I love my smile and my teeth are straight. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants straight teeth with getting braces, no one ever noticed I was wearing the Invisalign trays. Naomi and Ana are awesome dental assistants. They’re both very gentle, caring, nice, professional, and friendly. They work so well with Dr. Abraham and take great pride in doing a wonderful job. When they’ve make temporary crowns for me they’re so comfortable, it’s a shame they have to be removed. The office has been remodeled and is beautiful! They have a Keurig, a refrigerator with filled water bottles, and a play area for children. The dental area is super clean and well equipped. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the dentist, have no fear, you won’t be judged and you will be welcomed. They all genuinely care about your dental health, how to help you achieve and maintain healthy teeth."- N.A. / Google / Jun 18, 2019
"I love going to this wonderful place , they’re so friendly and kind and full of joy and smiles !!!! Great for families!!!"- D.T. / Google / Jun 12, 2019
"Update: 6/2019 Oscar no longer works at Lifetime Smiles, but Naomi and Ana are amazing. They work well with Dr. Abraham, making sure your comfortable, and not in any pain. They're both friendly and very knowledgeable."- L.C. / Yelp / Jun 04, 2019
Temporomandibular joint disorder might be brought on by an injury to the jaw, years of grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw (bruxism), or a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion). Other conditions that might lead to TMD include a tumor in the TMJ or arthritis. Sometimes the reason for TMD is uncertain, but if you're having signs and symptoms, Dr. Abraham can diagnose and care for your TMJ. The most typical signs of TMD are tenderness or pain at the jaw, involuntary contractions in your facial muscles, feeling as if your jaw is rigid or stuck, and frequent headaches that begin near your ears. Another sign is hearing clicking, cracking, or popping when you open your jaw.
What To Expect
To diagnose a temporomandibular disorder, Dr. Abraham will listen carefully to understand your concerns prior to a physical exam. Throughout the examination, he will evaluate how your jaw moves and start looking for indications of misalignment, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. He will also palpate the jawbone and lower face for any swelling and tenderness. Dr. Abraham might order digital images of your lower head along with an analysis of your bite to search for underlying factors that could determine your therapy approach. Depending on the examination, he will discuss your treatment choices that could incorporate a mouth guard, teeth straightening, or restorations (crowns or bridges).
Along with treatments to fix the root cause of your temporomandibular joint disorder, Dr. Abraham may suggest different means to ease pain and other problems. This may include a liquid or soft food diet, not biting your nails or chewing gum, applying heat to your jaw, and relaxation methods. Dr. Abraham may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaws or prescribe medication to relax your muscles (and to ease pain, nervousness, or even inflammation).
You should continue to attend follow-up appointments so Dr. Abraham can assess the results from your TMJ treatment. If your therapy isn't working, he might consider another strategy. As soon as your TMD has been treated, you should continue going to yearly dental examinations at LifeTime Smiles of OC to maintain your oral health.
Dental insurance policies for diagnosing TMJ pain and TMD remedies will change so we'll get in touch with your provider to determine your personal expenses. Whether you have dental insurance or not, Dr. Abraham will discuss price quotes when explaining treatment options. To make all remedies as affordable as possible, LifeTime Smiles of OC accepts many payment options and we will be able to help you find medical financing.
Plan Your Procedure
Advanced TMD Treatments
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can make it difficult to eat, talk, and enjoy your day-to-day life. Since there are lots of potential causes, signs, and remedies to treat temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), schedule an appointment with Dr. Kareem Abraham at his practice in Santa Ana, CA. He will perform a detailed exam prior to your diagnosis and talk about treatment choices. Contact our staff at LifeTime Smiles of OC to learn more and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Abraham.