TMJ Disorder in Northern Virginia
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders cause a great deal of discomfort and annoyance for a large segment of the population. There are a variety of symptoms that are lumped together in this category of disorders, from headaches, muscle pain and stiffness to “popping” and pain in the joint itself. We can provide a wide variety of treatments to resolve these problems, ranging from analgesics and muscle relaxants to open joint surgery. For most patients, after our doctors conduct an evaluation in the office, we begin therapy with conservative care, proceeding through a series of other treatment options before recommending any consideration of joint surgery. Following treatment, patients experience less pain, are better able to eat and chew their food, and may experience fewer headaches as well.
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What are TMJ Disorders?
Several conditions may be related to TMJ disorders, but they can be quite varied, and they are often difficult to pinpoint. Some problems result from arthritis, dislocation, and injury. All of these conditions can cause pain and dysfunction. Muscles that move the joints are also subject to injury and disease. Injuries to the jaw, head or neck, and diseases such as arthritis, might result in some TMJ problems. Other factors that relate to the way the teeth fit together – the bite – may cause some types of TMJ disorders. Stress is thought to be another factor.
What are some options for treatment of temporomandibular disorders?
Treatments for TMJ disorders may include stress-reducing exercises, muscle relaxants, or wearing a mouth protector (night guard) to prevent teeth grinding. If these non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful, then surgery may be needed. Once your TMJ disorder is diagnosed, our oral surgeons can provide the appropriate treatment to relieve the problem.