TMJ Treatment in McLean, VA

What Is TMJ/TMD?

TMD stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. TMJ stands for the joint in your jaw that connects your jaw to your skull. This joint is also responsible for the movement of your jaw when you speak, chew, and make faces.

When there is a dysfunction in your jaw or the jaw’s joints or muscles, this can make moving the jaw difficult and painful. TMD is closely associated with teeth grinding, arthritis, bite problems, and oral trauma, though there is no known direct cause.

If you suffer from any of these conditions, you have an increased risk of developing TMD. It can be described as a condition that limits the mobility of the jaw and causes severe pain that radiates through other areas of the face, ears, and head.

Symptoms Of TMJ

Signs You May have TMJ

There are many symptoms of TMJ, so even if you don’t have all of them, you should come into our McLean office for a consultation if you identify with a few of them. These symptoms include:

- Lockjaw
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw
- Difficulty opening the jaw wide
- Pain when moving the jaw
- Headaches
- Pain and ringing in the ears
- Worn down enamel (from clenching or grinding)
- Misaligned bite
- Stiffness or difficulty moving the jaw
- Pain in the neck & shoulders
- Facial pain

If you have these symptoms and are located in McLean, Vienna, or Tysons, contact us at VanSmileDesign today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nicole Van. She can examine your jaw, take x-rays, and assess your symptoms to help make a diagnosis.

Night Guards as TMJ Treatment

A night guard or oral splint made of acrylic plastic that is worn while the patient sleeps can help prevent teeth grinding and relieve the symptoms of TMD. The guard places a cushion between your teeth, which prevents you from grinding and wearing down your teeth. 

Bruxism (teeth grinding) greatly increases your risk of damaging your teeth by cracking, chipping, or breaking them. With a night guard, you don't have to worry about this. The guard will also reduce your risk of clenching your jaw, which is associated with causing jaw pain and immobility. 

The guard relieves the pressure you place on the jaw, which reduces TMD symptoms like jaw pain, clicking sound, lockjaw, and headaches.


Why Should I Get Treated For TMJ?

While TMJ is not a life-threatening disorder, it can greatly reduce your quality of life if you leave it untreated. Living with TMJ can leave you with jaw pain, headaches, lack of mobility, difficulty eating and speaking, inflammation of the jaw that can result in serious joint damage, damage to your teeth, tinnitus, difficulty getting quality sleep, irritability, and mental health issues like anxiety and depression. These symptoms can become worse over time.

Dr. Nicole Van

Get Treatment For Your TMJ Symptoms

Dr. Van can't wait to help relieve your pain in McLean or Vienna. Take the first step and book your consultation with our dental office today!

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