TMJ Treatment Washington DC & Alexandria VA
Washington DC & Alexandria VA
Everyone has two temporomandibular joints (TMJ), one on the left and one on the right. When one or both of these joints becomes damaged or develops issue with functionality, a patient is said to have TMD or TMJ syndrome. Symptoms typically manifest as rustling, clicking, or popping in the jaw joint along with muscle or jaw joint pain. Other symptoms include tinnitus, headaches, difficulty opening their jaw or a jaw that locks in place, and even numbness in the fingertips and face.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options for TMJ. At Precision Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, our specialty trained periodontists Dr. Justin Zalewsky and Dr. Antara Daru have years of experience treating a wide range of stages of gum disease and placing dental implants. To learn more about TMJ treatment, our clinic facilities, or to schedule an appointment for a procedure, contact our Alexandria, VA office at (703) 823-2422 or our Washington D.C. office at (202) 296-3360.
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TMJ Treatment Options
There are range of treatment options available for TMJ. In order to determine which treatment option is right for you, it will be necessary to determine the root cause of your issue. For example, if the root cause is due to improperly placed fillings or crowns, your periodontist will begin treatment by removing and replacing the filling or crown to see if symptoms improve. If the issue appears to be related to stress, your periodontist will encourage you to make certain lifestyle changes, such as practicing yoga, meditating, and other self-care practices.
In very rare cases, surgical intervention that involves replacing the jaw joint disc may be necessary, or a series of procedures utilizing numerous veneers and crowns may be performed to rebuild the patient’s bite, but typically TMJ can be improved or treated through the following methods.
Custom Fit Nightguard
A custom fit nightguard is one of the most common and successful treatment options for patients with TMJ. Although one-size-fits-all nightguards are available in drugstores, to maximize your results and increase your chances of successfully treating TMJ, it is critical that you have a guard that is designed and customized to meet your specific mouth. With one-size-fits-all nightguards purchased in a drugstore, you run the risk of not improving your symptoms, and you may end up making your condition worse.
One of the primary reasons a custom fit nightguard is so important is because everyone has different dental structure, and TMJ can present itself differently in patients. Some patient’s TMJ may be primarily clenching, whereas another patient may be grinding, and a third might be clenching and grinding. Although it may be a little costlier and time consuming to have custom guards designed, in the end you will save more time and money by seeking treatment that is designed to meet your unique needs.
Another effective treatment for TMJ pain is BOTOX. Dental BOTOX involves injecting BOTOX into tightened facial muscles, which in turn relaxes these muscles and alleviates pain and discomfort. BOTOX treatment can also help address nighttime clenching, which further reduces daytime pain. Patients who pursue dental BOTOX treatment for TMJ will typically need to schedule treatments every three to four months, although some patients only require one treatment to address their TMJ syndrome.