At Gentle Care Dentists in Arlington, we specialize in a variety oral surgeries, including treatments for TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. If you’re wondering exactly what this is, our team of dentists are here to clear things up!
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment in Arlington
Your temporomandibular joint, also known as your TMJ joint, is located at the base of your skull in front of your ears and connects your lower jaw (mandible) with your upper jaw (maxilla). Unlike other joints in your body the TMJ is very unique in structure and works in two ways to open your mouth. The first way is similar to the workings of a hinge, where your mouth can be easily opened and closed through the strength of your jaw muscles. The second way is through a sliding motion known as translation, where your lower jaw moves down and forward.
Like any joint in your body, the TMJ can become fractured, swollen, and sore due to a variety of reasons. This can cause limited movement of your lower jaw and pain that radiates to the head and neck. TMJ symptoms can have a negative impact on your quality of life, not to mention they can contribute to various orthodontic complications that could result in long-term damage. If you experience any of the symptoms of TMJ below, contact our dentists right away!
Common Signs & Symptoms of TMJ
- Pain and achiness around the jaw, neck, face, ears, and shoulders.
- Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw when chewing on food.
- Issues chewing normally or constant pain when eating.
- Trouble falling asleep at night.
- Frequent headaches.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Bruxism, or the clenching and grinding of teeth.
- Muscle spasms and swelling near the jaw and face.
- A jaw that gets stuck or locked in a position.
- Tenderness of the jaw muscles
Common TMJ Treatments
At Gentle Care Dentists in Arlington, we’ve helped hundreds of people relieve their symptoms of TMJ through our specialized dentistry services. While there is no single cure, there are several different treatment options that can be used to reduce your symptoms of TMJ dramatically. Your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- In order to reduce the harmful effects of clenching or grinding your jaw, there are effective wearable appliances such as night guards and splints that can help. These applications are custom-made to fit your mouth and they can help keep you from the habit of grinding and clenching.
- Applying moist heat or taking an oral medication such as a muscle-relaxer can help to eliminate muscle spasms in the jaw.
- Relaxation techniques can help you learn how to control the muscle tension in your jaw.
If you or a loved one is suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder or any of the symptoms listed above, contact the professionals at Gentle Care Dentists today. We’re proud to be a leading provider of oral and periodontal surgery throughout Virginia, and we would love to help you find relief through one of our treatments. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!