TMJ disorder is a chronic pain condition that is associated with dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. Symptoms such as chronic headaches, teeth grinding, facial and jaw pain are all common indications of TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder is commonly misdiagnosed, which is why it is important for patients to visit an experienced dentist for the appropriate testing.
If left untreated, TMJ disorder can affect the quality of life and the condition of your smile. Washington, DC dentist Dr. Justin Deckard offers a full range of treatments for patients suffering from TMJ disorder.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder does not have one singular cause; instead, TMJ disorder is caused by a variety of factors that may lead to stress or dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint. Most patients who develop TMJ disorder experience some form of malocclusion, misaligned or crooked teeth, or orthodontic concerns.
Patients who grind or clench their teeth are more likely to develop damage or dysfunction in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. When the jaw joint is compromised by repeated stress and trauma, it becomes increasingly difficult to eat, chew, and speak without pain or discomfort.
Common Signs & Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
- Earaches or ringing in the ears
- Neck, face, and jaw pain or tension
- Persistent headaches
- Popping or clicking of the jaw
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Numbness in the face or hands
- Chipped or damaged teeth
Treatment Options For TMJ Disorder
Dr. Deckard understands no two smiles are alike. Dr. Deckard works with patients one on one to fully understand their needs and build a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs. A customized treatment plan for TMJ disorder will address the cause of TMJ disorder and prevent further damage to the teeth, joints, and muscles. Treatment will vary from patient to patient
Treatment For TMJ
- Oral sleep appliance: An oral sleep appliance is a custom-designed device that helps to realign the jaw during sleep. An oral sleep appliance will prevent the teeth from grinding and clenching, therefore minimizing damage to the surrounding joints, muscles, and teeth.
- Invisalign: Invisalign is a set of clear, removable aligners that gradually reposition the teeth. Invisalign may be used to treat crooked teeth and alleviate symptoms of TMJ disorder.
- Lifestyle Changes: Dr. Deckard will discuss specific lifestyle changes that may reduce stress and prevent jaw grinding and clenching.
TMJ Treatment FAQs
Is TMJ treatment expensive?
No. As you can see from the list above, TMJ treatment is inexpensive and can include common restorative treatments. Depending on the severity of your specific issue, a common TMJ treatment plan can include a combination of restorative and cosmetic dental services.
Will my TMJ go away on its own?
It is not likely, but symptoms can be alleviated with a few at-home lifestyle changes. One of the common reasons for a developing TMJ disorder is heightened stress levels. By managing your stress, you can help alleviate symptoms.
Will TMJ treatment drastically change my smile?
Yes and no. It will have an impact on your smile, but not in a negative way. Some parts of TMJ treatment can include orthodontics, and bite alignment correction. They can actually improve many of your dental issues, not just TMJ.
Schedule An Appointment
If you are experiencing any symptoms related to TMJ disorder, be sure to contact our Washington, DC dental office. Dr. Deckard can work with you to develop a solution to help alleviate your symptoms and restore function to your smile. To schedule an appointment, call (202) 851-7554 or request an appointment online.