If you experience frequent pain or stiffness in your jaw that makes it hard to chew food or talk, you may have a condition known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. At Lansdowne Orthodontics in Lansdowne and South Riding, Virginia, Dr. Hukmani offers effective solutions to manage your TMJ disorder-related discomfort. From recommending physical therapy to providing protective splint therapy, Dr. Hukmani can help protect your jaw, teeth, and overall health. Schedule a consultation by calling the office to learn more.
TMJ Q & A
What is a TMJ disorder?
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the part of your lower jaw that connects to your skull. TMJ disorders affect the alignment of your jaw, causing pain and limited functionality.
It’s not clear what causes these conditions, but common factors for developing TMJ disorders include:
- Teeth clenching
- Teeth grinding
You may also be prone to developing TMJ disorders due to stress and anxiety issues.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?
Symptoms can vary from person to person. The most common symptom of a TMJ disorder is a clicking sound you hear when you move your jaw.
Other symptoms may include:
- Locked jaw
- Pain in your ears
- Frequent headaches
- Jaw muscle spasms
- Alignment changes in your top or bottom teeth
You may also find it hard to move your jaw, experiencing frequent stiffness or pain, especially when talking or chewing. In some cases, this pain can spread to your shoulders and neck if TMJ disorders go untreated.
Untreated TMJ disorders can have long-term consequences on your teeth, wearing them down and causing an uneven bite. This can aggravate your TMJ systems, making it harder to chew without discomfort or pain.
How is a TMJ disorder diagnosed?
Dr. Hukmani performs a thorough evaluation of your jaw structure and position. He also reviews your symptoms and may request X-rays to confirm a TMJ disorder diagnosis.
If you have a TMJ disorder, there may be several factors involved, Dr. Hukmani may help you manage your symptoms and discomfort by developing a comprehensive treatment plan.
What treatments options are available for a TMJ disorder?
To prevent worsening your TMJ disorder symptoms, Dr. Hukmani may recommend a custom-fit night guard to protect your teeth from wear due to grinding and clenching when you sleep.
Dr. Hukmani creates a custom treatment plan to address your symptoms. He may also recommend physical therapy exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles.
To relieve TMJ disorder pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers, and alternate between using cold and hot packs to reduce your discomfort.
It may also be necessary to learn relaxation techniques to reduce your stress levels, as stress can make TMJ disorder symptoms worse.
You can also try eating only soft foods when pain is present. To learn more about managing a TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment by phone.