If you are suffering from a sore jaw, headaches, earaches, or popping or clicking in the jaw, you might have temporomandibular joint disorders, often referred to as TMJ. This condition occurs when the joint and muscle of your jaw are damaged or strained.
Symptoms of this condition can be uncomfortable, but there are several treatments available to manage this pain. Dr. Nishan Halim, a dentist in Washington, DC, describes three different treatment options that can help patients suffering from symptoms of TMJ.
One of the common causes of TMJ is teeth grinding or clenching, a behavior known as bruxism. The pressure of grating the top teeth against the bottom teeth creates tension that extends from the teeth to the jaw which can become painful.
Stress relief activities can help dental patients relax their jaw and alleviate symptoms. These can include regular exercise and breathing exercises. Your dentist may also suggest specified stretches for your mouth that can reduce pressure in your jaw.
Bruxism often occurs unconsciously, including while a patient sleeps. For this reason, dentists often recommend that patients with TMJ wear a mouthguard overnight. This can protect your teeth and jaw from damage that may occur due to the pressure of teeth grinding.
An oral appliance that is custom-made by a dental professional can also reposition your jaw when worn. This can further alleviate pressure to the jaw and relieve painful symptoms of TMJ.
Severe cases of TMJ may require restorative dental solutions. Jaw pain might stem from misaligned or missing teeth. When a patient suffers tooth loss, the jawbone can deteriorate. With a weakening jaw, a patient can develop TMJ.
Dental implants can replace missing teeth, including the tooth root, and protect the jawbone. This treatment can also encourage the regrowth of bone that may have already deteriorated due to tooth loss.
Misalignment of the teeth or jaw can be fixed with orthodontics, including Invisalign. An examination from your dentist can determine which treatment or combination of treatments can restore your smile and alleviate TMJ symptoms.
Find Expert TMJ Treatment in Washington, DC
Dr. Halim offers TMJ treatment and other restorative dental solutions to patients in Washington, DC. Our practice also specializes in cosmetic and general dentistry, including both preventative and emergency care. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 202.318.4113.