TMJ Therapy: An Overview
TMJ is a chronic pain condition that can compromise the function of the temporomandibular joint. For many patients, TMJ related pain and symptoms are caused by a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and/or teeth grinding. TMJ is commonly misdiagnosed and when left untreated can cause damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw. TMJ disorders can interfere with a patient’s quality of life by making it difficult to eat or speak comfortably, and be the underlying cause of chronic facial pain.
The Causes of TMJ Disorders
TMJ disorders develop for many reasons and are often the result of several issues with your jaw and bite. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles, and stressing your TM Joint. Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Crooked teeth can also cause stress on the jaw and result in TMJ. Whatever the cause, the results may include very painful symptoms often associated with TMJ.
Signs & Symptoms of TMJ
Knowing the signs and symptoms of TMJ can help patients prevent further oral health complications such as worn teeth or damage to the function of the bite. If you notice any changes in your oral health, be sure to let Dr. Sarkarzadeh known.
- Frequent headaches
- Difficulty or pain when chewing or swallowing
- Earaches or ringing ears
- Face, neck, shoulder and back pain
- Jaw clicking, popping or locking
- Jaw pain and tension
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or fingers
During an examination with Rockville, MD dentist Dr. Ali Sarkarzadeh, he will look for signs of TMJ such as worn or damaged teeth. If you are experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, you should inform him during your appointment as well. Dr. Sarkarzadeh offers comprehensive and personalized treatment plans to help patients resolve symptoms, prevent damage to their teeth and gums, and address other oral health concerns associated with teeth grinding and TMJ-related disorders.
TMJ Therapy: What to Expect
TMJ is a progressive oral health concern that can be best treated if caught early. Left untreated, TMJ can cause complex bite disorders and damage to the jaw, teeth, and gums. Dr. Sarkarzadeh treats each patient on an individual basis and offers treatment options to prevent further deterioration of the patient’s oral health. Treatment will vary and depend on the patient’s oral health, alignment issues, lifestyle, and budget.
Treatment Options for TMJ
- Oral Sleep Appliance: An oral sleep appliance can be custom designed and fit to prevent teeth grinding. The custom sleep device realigns the jaw into a more comfortable resting position that will not put stress on the TMJ muscle. An oral sleep appliance can also prevent further damage to the teeth and gums caused by bruxism.
- Restorative Dentistry: we can address tooth damage and bite imbalances with a range of restorative dental treatments.
- Orthodontics: if malocclusion is affecting the comfort and function of your bite, Dr. Sarkarzadeh may recommend orthodontic treatment.
- Change in lifestyle habits: Exercise, yoga, and other therapeutic activities can help patients release stress and tension to prevent jaw clenching or grinding. Dr. Sarkarzadeh may make other recommendations of changes that may help alleviate TMJ pain.