Do you experience jaw pain and headaches?
You may have a TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the base of the skull. When there is dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint, it can cause pain or damage to the surrounding joints, muscles, and nerves.
Understanding the underlying cause of TMJ disorder can help patients get one step close to the treatment they need to alleviate their symptoms.
Dr. Zahra Kavianpour and our team at Brighter Smile Family Dentistry and Orthodontics offer comprehensive care for patients with TMJ disorder. We can evaluate your joints, discuss your symptoms, and go over all dental treatment options with you during your dental exam and consultation.
Visit our Sterling, VA dentist practice to speak to a dental professional about your treatment options for TMJ disorders.
What Are The Symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ is an all-encompassing term that relates to a range of issues with the function of the bite and the alignment of the jaw. The signs of TMJ vary from patient to patient. However, many patients with TMJ will experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Clicking or popping sound when moving the jaw
- Chronic headaches after waking up
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- Facial pain or tenderness
- Pain, discomfort, or swelling in the jaw
- Neck, back, and shoulder pain
If you have one or more of these symptoms, consider visiting our dental office for a consultation with Dr. Kavianpour.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
There are many things can lead to a TMJ disorder and sometimes it may be impossible to pinpoint what is causing it. Some people develop TMJ issues due to a combination of several factors. The cause of it will vary from patient to patient as everyone is unique. The following are several factors that may contribute to the development of a TMJ disorder:
- Jaw Misalignment
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
- Trauma or Injury to the Jaw
- Stress that Leads to Muscle Tension
- Teeth Misalignment
- Hormonal Problems
TMJ Treatment in Sterling, VA
At Brighter Smile Family Dentistry and Orthodontics, we build comprehensive treatment plans for patients with complex dental problems. Dr. Kavianpour is highly trained in the diagnosing and treatment of advanced dental problems. She works closely with you to create a TMJ treatment plan that is personalized to your symptoms and unique smile.
The goal of treatment is to alleviate your symptoms and prevent further damage to the jaw. After a complete oral examination, Dr. Kavianpour may suggest one or more of the following solutions to help address your symptoms.
TMJ disorders lead to constant pressure on the teeth, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. These actions can lead to tooth damage including worn down teeth, cracked teeth, or chipped teeth. This type of damage cannot be ignored and you will need to have it repaired. If ignored, you risk further damage or infection that may result in tooth loss. Depending on the type of tooth damage you have, Dr. Kavianpour may recommend restorative dentistry to fix your teeth.
If your TMJ disorder has caused a significant change in the alignment of your bite, this will lead to tooth mobility. The excessive pressure from the misaligned bite will cause your teeth to shift out of proper alignment. To treat this issue, Dr. Kavianpour will recommend orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign.
Other Treatment Options
Aside from dental treatments, you may also require additional TMJ treatments. This may include Botox injections into the joints. We can also recommend some jaw exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the joints. For more severe cases, you may need physical therapy.
TMJ Disorder FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about TMJ disorders along with their answers:
What causes TMJ to flare up?
TMJ can be a reoccurring pain that comes and goes for years of a person’s life. Some changes in one’s lifestyle can bring TMJ back to life. The main factor change that may cause TMJ to flare up is stress. Stress causes people to grind their teeth and clench their jaws. Some other changes may be changes in hormones, such as starting birth control.
What can make TMJ worse?
TMJ symptoms may worsen if you do not follow a healthy diet and do not have a good sleep schedule. There also may be muscles in your jaw and face that can trigger pain to be worse, or cause a headache or toothache.
Does drinking water help TMJ?
Drinking water is a great way to avoid TMJ flaring up. Not only is drinking water good for TMJ, but it is also great for your entire body. Drinking water consistently can help loosen and relax muscles in your face, neck, and jaw.
Does stress make my TMJ symptoms worse?
Stress is a major contributor to TMJ symptoms and may even be a leading cause. It can lead to increased muscle tension in the jaw, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. This can make all your TMJ symptoms much worse. Taking the steps to manage your stress is key such as relaxation exercises, counseling, yoga, exercise, etc.
Will my TMJ disorder go away on its own?
Mild TMJ disorders can resolve on their own especially if its stress related. Mild symptoms can resolve on their own with self care practices along with conservative treatment. However, if your symptoms persist, worsen, or affect your daily life, seeking a professional evaluation and help is advised.
Schedule your TMJ Treatment in Sterling, VA
If you would like to find relief for TMJ pain, visit your trusted team of professionals at Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics in Sterling, VA. Dr. Kavianpour and our team can work with you to deliver the treatment you need. To learn more about your options, call 703.444.3412 or request an appointment online.