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What You Should Know About TMD

Dentistry involves more than just your teeth and gums. It also involves parts of your face that are connected to how well your mouth functions, such as your TMJ, or your temporomandibular joints. Over time, your TMJ may develop a painful disorder known as temporomandibular disorder or TMD. Though it can be improved through simple changes in your daily habits, to ensure that the pain subsides quickly, schedule an appointment with Smile Reston Heights.

Our dental practice includes professionals that specialize in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. We offer sedation dentistry, dental emergencies, relieving TMJ dental treatment, and more. For years, we have provided high-quality dental services for patients throughout Reston, VA, and Northern Virginia.

Here’s what you should know about TMD:

What is TMD?

TMD is a medical condition that involves chronic pain in the joints and muscles that enable the jaw to move.

It occurs within the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), as well as the muscles and tissues surrounding it. The TMJ is part of the lower jaw, one on each side of the head, and is composed of three parts:

  • Mandibular condyle – the part of the joint that is connected to the lower jaw.
  • Glenoid fossa – the part of the joint that is connected to the base of the skull.
  • Meniscus – a piece of cartilage that is shaped like a disc that cushions the glenoid fossa and mandibular condyle.

Its symptoms include the TMJ clicking or popping with movement, severe unrelenting pain in and around the TMJ and facial muscles, lockjaw (inability to open and close your mouth), and more.

Causes of TMD

Here are some potential causes for TMD:

  • The meniscus (disc-shaped cartilage) degrades or becomes misaligned.
  • The cartilage receives damage from arthritis.
  • The joint receives damage from a blunt force or another impact.
  • Consistent teeth grinding.

Several risk factors may indicate the potential for having TMD in the future, such as:

  • Various forms of arthritis.
  • Previous jaw injuries.
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth.
  • Diseases that affect the connective tissues, which can then affect the TMJ.

Treatments of TMD

To best treat TMD, we at Smile Reston Heights recommend performing preventative practices, such as avoiding teeth grinding by using a nightguard, chewing with both sides of your mouth, and practicing good posture.

There are also surgical treatments such as TMJ implants, which are used to replace your degraded TMJ. These can restore the abilities that TMD degrades, including chewing food, and opening and closing your mouth.

Smile Reston Heights: Expert TMJ Dental Treatment in Reston, VA

TMD is a difficult condition to deal with, but there are ways to prevent it, such as changing some of our behaviors or making an appointment with a dentist that specializes in TMD. Our dentists at Smile Reston Heights are highly-experienced in skilled TMJ dental treatments, as well as transformative cosmetic dentistry and sustaining general dentistry. For years, we’ve had numerous patients return thanks to our excellent quality of service, the friendliness of our staff, and the affordability of our payment plans.

Contact us at (703) 423-0008 to schedule an appointment and receive quality dental treatment.

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