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TMJ

Advantage Dental Care

General Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Springfield, VA

Millions of Americans suffer from jaw and facial pain caused by temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). Advantage Dental Care in Springfield, Virginia, understands that TMJ can be debilitating when left untreated. That’s why they offer customized treatment options. If you’re ready to take control of your TMJ pain, call Advantage Dental Care or book an appointment online today.

TMJ Q & A

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joints are located on each side of your head. They work together with your jaw muscles and ligaments to open and close your mouth, allowing you to speak, swallow, and chew.

If the joints, muscles, or ligaments in your jaw become damaged or inflamed, it can limit your ability to open your mouth, chew, or even rest your jaw without pain and discomfort. Without treatment, TMJ often worsens over time, so it’s important to seek help at the first sign of trouble.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ can cause localized pain in the jaw, as well as a number of other uncomfortable symptoms. The most common TMJ symptoms patients experience are:

  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw tightness
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping sound when opening the mouth
  • Neck pain
  • Chronic headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Earaches
  • Tenderness around the jaw

Chewy foods and gum can aggravate your TMJ symptoms. If you’re experiencing debilitating jaw pain, stick to soft foods until your symptoms subside.

What causes TMJ?

There are many reasons you may develop TMJ, including:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Jaw misalignment (poor bite)
  • Jaw dislocation
  • Jaw injury
  • Stress
  • Chronic jaw clenching
  • Certain connective tissue disorders

Stressful situations can cause you to overuse your jaw muscles, leading to further pain and discomfort. 

How is TMJ treated?

Certain relaxation techniques, such as resting your jaw, are shown to temporarily relieve pain and tightness. In addition, there are many noninvasive TMJ treatments that can relax your jaw and relieve joint and muscle pain, including:

Nightguard

A night guard is especially helpful if you grind your teeth while you sleep. A custom-fit night guard not only protects your teeth from grinding together, it also realigns your bite to rest your jaw and alleviate pain. Advantage Dental Care takes highly accurate impressions of your mouth to design a nightguard that fits perfectly.

Oral splint

An oral splint, or TMJ splint, works as a night guard by protecting your teeth from grinding and aligning your jaw into a better position. While a night guard is worn while you sleep, you can wear a splint anytime you feel jaw discomfort.

TMJ typically does not improve without treatment. To schedule an appointment for TMJ treatment with Advantage Dental Care, call the office or book a visit online today.