TMJ & TMD

Across the United States, millions of Americans experience chronic pain in their face and neck areas. A selected few of those individuals encounter this pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD) or when the hinge of the upper and lower jaw isn’t functioning as it should.

As the hinge of the jaw is one of the most complicated joints in our bodies, it is also in charge of moving the lower jaw forward, backward as well as side-to-side. Any issues with the functions of this system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones is identified as TMJ or TMD. While it feels like a popping or clicking sensation is causing your jaw to lock, it is still difficult to determine the specific cause of misalignment. People that have TMJ, often experience a variety of symptoms, in which your dentist can help you properly treat it and significantly reduce discomfort.

Common TMJ-TMD Symptoms

Keep in mind that even if you are experiencing these symptoms below, you may not necessarily have TMJ. It is important to let your dentist know right away that you are experiencing these symptoms, which will ensure you receive the proper diagnosis and adequate treatment to completely relieve pain due to TMJ.

  • A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Hearing clicking or popping sounds as the jaw moves
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw area
  • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
  • Pressure behind the eyes
  • Locked jaw or limited mouth movement
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw area
  • Swelling on the sides of the face

How Can You Prevent TMJ-TMD?

At Smile Reston Heights, our dentists are dedicated to providing our patients with a solid diagnosis and treatment to prevent chronic pain caused by TMJ. If your dentist diagnoses you with TMJ, he or she will provide you with information on daily habits that may influence TMJ as well as ways to prevent it from becoming more severe.

Follow these best practices below for TMJ prevention

  • Avoid teeth grinding
  • Balance your chewing to both sides of your mouth
  • Don’t rest your chin in your hand while sitting
  • Don’t cradle the phone receiver in between your head and shoulder
  • Practice proper posture daily
  • Reduce constant gum chewing
  • Rule of thumb: “Lips together, teeth apart” and keep your face relaxed!

Our Smile Reston Heights dentists specialize in providing solutions for TMJ. Get in touch with us and book an appointment today.

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