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Is a TMJ Specialist in your Future?


If you’re experiencing unexplained jaw or facial pain, you’re not alone. Approximately 15 percent of adults in the United States experience facial pain that may be related to their temporomandibular (TM) joints. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) refers to a group of conditions that affect TM joints as well as the muscles, ligaments, bones, and nerves around them. If you have TMJ, you may experience symptoms when you open your mouth or when you make side-motions with your lower jaw.

Symptoms of TMJ

If you have TMJ, you may experience the following symptoms on a regular basis:

  • Pain in or around ears
  • Jaw pain when biting, chewing, or yawning
  • Difficulty closing or opening the mouth
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Tenderness of the jaw
  • Clicking or popping noises or sensations in the jaw area
  • Jaw pain or soreness in the morning or late afternoon
  • Unexplained tooth sensitivity

Potential Causes of TMJ

  • Jaw dislocation or injury
  • Arthritis
  • Malocclusion
  • Bruxism
  • Emotional stress and anxiety

Diagnosing TMJ

It’s essential to seek professional dentist care if you experience persistent symptoms of TMJ. The exact causes of the condition can be difficult to pinpoint. If you visit a clinic for affordable dental in Northern Virginia, the dentist can examine your head and jaw and take X-rays of your joints. That way he or she can often determine if you have TMJ and recommend an effective treatment. If your diagnosis is unclear, you may be referred to a TMJ specialist. Sometimes tooth or sinus problems can mimic TMJ. Also, behavioral and psychological issues can be factors that contribute to symptoms. With time and help from a skilled TMJ specialist, you can get to the bottom of your jaw pain.

Treatment Options for TMJ

With proper dentist care, TMJ is usually a manageable condition. Possible treatment options include:

  • Moist heat application
  • Night guards to treat tooth-grinding
  • Dental repair of poorly aligned teeth
  • Resting the joint
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Relaxation or biofeedback techniques

What to Do if You Suspect that You Have TMJ

If you exhibit symptoms of TMJ, you should find a clinic for affordable dental in Northern Virginia for a diagnosis. Symptoms may go away without treatment, so plan to start out with a conservative treatment strategy. In severe cases, more invasive and permanent treatments may be appropriate.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Northern Virginia, call Northern Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates today or make an appointment.

Northern Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Northern Virginia. Our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Northern Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Northern Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates.

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