Burke, VATMJ Treatment

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the skull to the lower jawbone. Any damage or stress on these joints can lead to TMJ disorders. Patients with TMJ disorders often experience pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, and teeth. At Smiles by Mia, Dr. Mia and her team offer TMJ treatment to patients in Burke, VA. Treating bite disorders like TMD can restore a patient’s smile, bite function, and comfort.

TMD in Fairfax, Virginia

Signs of TMJ Disorders

Patients with temporomandibular joint disorders can experience these symptoms:

  • Orofacial pain (pain in the face and oral cavity)
  • Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
  • Jaw clicking and popping
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Tooth and jaw pain

Contact Smiles by Mia if you find any changes in your jaw, teeth, or face. Our professional dental team will help you find the best treatment to relieve your pain and discomfort. 

What Causes TMJ?

Many different things can cause TMJ. Often, we find that multiple things contribute to the development of TMJ. One of the most common ones is an uneven bite. If your bite is uneven, the jaw joint isn’t tracking properly and starts to break down. This can be something that you’re born with or something that occurs due to an injury or trauma. A blow to the jaw can disrupt the proper alignment or damage the jaw’s support structure.

Another prevalent cause is bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. When you clench and grind your teeth, you strain the muscles and jaw joint. The longer you have this habit, the more effects from it you’ll notice. Your jaw joint becomes inflamed, the muscles tense, and the jaw joint breaks down.

Certain arthritic and degenerative diseases influence TMJ. Arthritis inflames the joints and makes them stiff, making them difficult to move. The joint erodes, too, causing more problems over time.

But physical issues aren’t the only influences on TMJ. If you’re stressed or more anxious than usual, you’re more likely to suffer from TMJ problems. Many people clench or grind their teeth more when stressed, and you’re more likely to have muscle tension throughout your body in general.

Even your posture can impact TMJ, which many patients don’t expect. If your head posture is forward or you often sit hunched, you can strain your neck and jaw muscles. Some muscles throughout your face and neck may be stronger than others, creating an imbalance. This can affect the way your jaw muscles move.

TMJ Treatment in Burke, VA

We examine the smile at routine appointments and take dental x-rays as needed. If we find any areas of wear or if patients have noticed TMJ symptoms, we will recommend treatment. Nightguards help patients who clench and grind their teeth at night.

Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, wears down the tooth enamel, often making it difficult for patients to bite and chew comfortably. Patients with bruxism can also experience jaw pain, headaches, and jaw popping and clicking. Wearing a custom nightguard can stop damage and pain caused by TMD.

Nightguards are similar to mouthguards because they cover teeth. However, our nightguards are made of hard acrylic that covers the upper or lower teeth. Patients often clench and grind their teeth unconsciously during sleep. Wearing a nightguard during sleep prevents tooth wear and pressure on the jaw joints. 

Some patients must undergo physical therapy and follow a soft diet for several weeks. During physical therapy, patients learn the best exercises to relieve jaw, neck, shoulders, and even arms pain. A soft diet also gives the jaw joints a break from hard or crunchy foods.

Contact Our Dental Office Today

Are you experiencing jaw pain, tooth wear, or morning headaches? You may have TMD. Call (571) 789-1265 or request a dental appointment on our website.