TMJ disorders can make elementary functions such as chewing or simply opening and closing your mouth painful. Let the team at K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group provide personalized TMJ treatment to restore your quality of life. At their location in Washington, D.C., the staff can diagnose the root cause of your TMJ disorder and prescribe the appropriate course of treatment with care and accuracy. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on either side of your head, right in front of your ears. The TMJ functions like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. When your TMJ works properly, your jaw doesn’t have any issues. You’re able to chew, speak, and open your mouth without pain or problems.
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.
Common TMJ disorder signs and symptoms include:
If you experience any of these symptoms and they last more than a few days, you should come in and see a K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group team member for a diagnosis.
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, known medically as bruxism. Clenching your teeth constantly, especially at night, can lead to the misalignment of your jaw muscles.
First, your dentist performs a thorough clinical assessment of your joint symptoms and function. This involves discussing your symptoms with you and having a comprehensive physical examination. Your dentist may opt for special radiographic imaging and other diagnostic tests to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
At K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group, treatment of TMJ disorders is always personalized to fit your needs. Your specific treatment plan may include wearing an oral appliance, such as a night guard or stabilization splint, that helps alleviate strain on the joints. Other types of recommended therapy include steroid injections, occlusal adjustments, and orthodontic treatment. In cases of persistent and serious TMJ problems, surgery may be the most appropriate course of action.
If symptoms of a TMJ disorder don’t subside on their own within a few days, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.