Smile Dental Clinic
Family Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Falls Church, VA & Herndon, VA
TMJ disorders can make simple tasks like chewing or opening and closing your mouth difficult and painful. Let Farah Ahmad, DDS, and Saira Ahmad, DDS, at Smile Dental Clinic in Falls Church and Herndon, Virginia, provide their special brand of personalized TMJ treatment to restore your quality of life. They can diagnose the root cause of your TMJ disorder and prescribe the appropriate course of treatment with precision. To find out more about treatment, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
TMJ Q & A
What is a TMJ disorder?
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on either side of your head, directly in front of your ears. Each TMJ functions much like a sliding hinge, linking your jawbone to your skull. Proper TMJ function allows you to chew, speak, and open your mouth without pain or problems.
On the other hand, if your TMJ is damaged or inflamed, the condition can affect certain muscles and other tissues that control healthy, pain-free jaw movement. In most cases, the pain or discomfort of a TMJ disorder is temporary and subsides on its own. In some cases, however, professional treatment is necessary to restore normal jaw function.
What are TMJ disorder symptoms?
Some of the most common TMJ disorder signs and symptoms include:
- Pain while chewing
- Trouble opening and closing your mouth
- Clicking or popping noises when opening and closing your mouth
- Aching facial pain
- Pain around your ears
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and they don’t subside on their own within a few days, you should come in and see the team at Smile Dental Clinic for a precise diagnosis.
What causes TMJ disorders?
This can be a complicated question. TMJ disorders don’t always have an exact cause. In some instances, genetics, arthritic conditions, or jaw injuries inflame the joints and muscles near the TMJ.
However, a common cause of a TMJ disorder is clenching or grinding your teeth. Medically, this is known as bruxism. Clenching your teeth constantly, especially at night, can lead to the misalignment of your jaw muscles and ultimately may bring on a TMJ disorder.
How does TMJ disorder treatment work?
Unlike most family dentistry practices, Smile Dental Clinic has an orthodontist on-site that specializes in TMJ issues and sleep medicine to perform thorough clinical assessments of joint symptoms and function. This type of assessment involves discussing your symptoms and sleep patterns with you, as well as receiving a comprehensive physical examination.
The team at Smile Dental Clinic may also opt for special radiographic imaging and other diagnostic tests to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
At Smile Dental Clinic, TMJ treatment is always personalized to fit your needs. Your customized treatment plan may include wearing an oral appliance, such as a night guard or stabilization splint, that helps relieve strain on the joints. Other types of recommended therapy include occlusal adjustments and orthodontic treatment.
In cases of persistent and serious TMJ problems, a referral to a specialized surgeon may be the most appropriate course of action.
If symptoms of a TMJ disorder last more than a few days, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
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