TMJ Treatment in Washington DC and Alexandria VA

If you are someone who has dealt with TMJ pain, you are aware of how much of an impact it can have and how frustrating it can be. This pain can show up in many different areas such as the jaw, ear, neck, or as a headache. Sometimes this condition can be hard to diagnose and treat and is frustrating when medical professionals will tell patients to stop chewing gum and just hope the condition goes away. We will work to address the problem and develop a treatment plan with you in order to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

First of all, you might be wondering what TMJ pain is and how you can treat it.

What is TMJ Dysfunction?

TMJ is just an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects the lower jawbone to the base of the skull. This joint allows for us to chew and open our mouths and is made up of two hinge points. To account for a wide range of movement, the TMJ needs to be able to rotate, glide, and hinge. When things go wrong with this complex joint it can cause pain and impact daily life greatly.

Problems with the TMJ are called TMD, temporomandibular disorder, or TMJ dysfunction.

15 percent of Americans deal with chronic facial pain such as jaw pain and headaches that are related to TMJ. Women between the ages of 20-40 are often impacted. This pain can last for many weeks and go away on its own, but sometimes it can persist.

What are some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

The symptoms can be different for different people. But, some of the symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Stiffness in the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw, cheek, ears, and neck
  • Headaches
  • Jaw locking
  • Earaches
  • Popping jaw
  • Changes in how teeth fit together

How can we help with TMJ problems?

We will ask you questions about your symptoms and inspect the TMJ joint while you move your jaw around. We might check for what is called a CR/CO discrepancy. This just means we will check the alignment of the joint and make sure everything is alright. Further tests might be needed.

There are a variety of ways we can treat TMJ (TMD) by getting to the cause of the problem.

What are the causes of TMD?

This problem does not have one cause.  It could be due to tension in the jaw but other factors or causes include:

  • Jaw or neck injury
  • Dislocation of the joint
  • Frequent grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Incorrectly placed crowns or fillings
  • Improper bite alignment

We can treat TMJ by addressing the root causes. This could include orthodontic work, removing poorly placed crowns and fillings or just by releasing tension or pressure on the joint.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have TMJ pain, Precision Periodontics and Implant Dentistry can help you. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Zalewsky to get started. We will work with you to create a treatment plan and address this issue.