TMJ therapy is a specialized form of dental treatment that focuses on relieving tension or inflammation in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This condition is known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and its associated symptoms include jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, and ringing in the ears.
At Let’s Smile Dental in Virginia, our teams are equipped to diagnose and treat TMD. Read on to learn more about what this therapy entails and how it can help you!
What Is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the area where your lower jawbone (mandible) connects to your skull. This joint helps you move your jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side. It also aids in chewing and speaking.
What Is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a disorder that affects the jaw joint. It is characterized by inflammation in the joint and associated muscles, which can lead to a variety of symptoms such as the following:
- Pain or tenderness of the jaw
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around the ear
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Locking or difficulty in opening or closing the mouth
What Are The Causes Of TMD?
TMD can be caused by several factors including bruxism (teeth grinding), stress, trauma to the jaw joint, arthritis, misaligned teeth, or a bad bite. A thorough evaluation by our dental professionals is necessary to determine the cause of your symptoms. By determining the cause, we are better prepared to treat the disorder at its source.
How Is TMD Treated?
The goal of TMJ therapy is to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and restore the normal function of the joint. In order to do this, it is important to first understand the vast complexities of the facial anatomy and recognize how every joint, muscle, and ligament works together to create a harmonious balance. When any one of these anatomical components becomes out of balance, pain and dysfunction can occur as too much pressure falls on one particular structure.
In most cases, we find that poor alignment of the teeth and jaw can contribute to the disorder. Fortunately, this can be corrected with orthodontic treatment, and in order to accelerate jaw tension relief and get the patient back to feeling their best as quickly as possible, we combine multiple therapeutic modalities; this may include ultrasound, photobiomodulation, microcurrent, and muscle manipulation.
Why Choose Us
When you choose Let’s Smile Dental for your TMJ therapy, you will receive personalized care from experienced professionals who have a thorough understanding of the jaw joint and how to treat it. Additionally, because TMD can be caused by a variety of factors, our team will work together to determine the cause by conducting a comprehensive evaluation. Upon identifying the cause of the disorder, we will develop a treatment plan that is customized based on your unique situation.
If you are suffering from TMJ pain, let us help! Contact Let’s Smile Dental in Virginia today to schedule an appointment and learn more about TMJ therapy. We look forward to helping you find relief!
TMJ Therapy FAQ
Do you have any questions about TMJ therapy? Find your answers below.
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your TMD. Generally, treatment consists of addressing the underlying issue causing joint tension—such as misalignment of the jaws or malocclusion. If we find that orthodontics can help, we may suggest a course of treatment that includes braces or other orthodontic appliances. Additionally, we might suggest physical therapy exercises to relax the muscles around your jaw.
Again, this depends on the cause of your condition and the type of treatment you receive. Generally, you should expect to spend several weeks undergoing TruDenta therapy or months completing treatment with orthodontics. Our team will be able to give you more specific estimates once we determine the best treatment plan for you.
No. We will work to make sure your treatments are comfortable and pain-free. In fact, rather than causing any pain, the treatment will work to soothe the discomfort you may be experiencing currently.
To prevent TMD, we recommend that you take measures to reduce stress in your life, complete any recommended orthodontic treatment, and avoid habits like clenching and grinding your teeth. If you find that you subconsciously clench or grind your teeth, speak to our team about options for protecting your smile like wearing a night guard.