TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorders, cause pain to the jaw joint and the muscles that control the jaw. This is because the temporomandibular joints connect the jawbone to the skull. Common symptoms of this disorder can include frequent jaw or tooth pain.
If you suffer from chronic headaches or find yourself frequently clenching your teeth, you may have a TMJ disorder. Dr. Sahil Goyal, Dr. Anshu Goyal, and Dr. Politimi Mantzouranis offer restorative dental treatment to patients at the Frederick Center for Dentistry in Frederick, MD.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
There is no single cause for TMJ dysfunction. However, there are several contributing factors. Trauma to the head or face or genetics can contribute to jaw pain or misalignment.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction may include:
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Frequent headaches
- Orofacial pain
- Tooth wear
- Chronic earaches
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is one of the most common and serious symptoms of TMJ. Many patients do not realize they grind their teeth as they may unconsciously do so at night during sleep. Teeth grinding can also lead to damaged teeth and gum disease.
Patients may have damaged or deteriorating joint tissue, so their needs are dependent on the severity of their problem. If teeth clenching and grinding are your main symptoms, you may benefit from a customized night guard. Night guards relieve pressure from the jaw and hold the jaw in a resting position. Night guards also prevent future damage to the teeth and gums.
If you have misaligned, crooked, or missing teeth that contribute to your TMJ disorder, we recommend restorative missing teeth treatment or orthodontic treatment. We offer dental implants, dental bridges, dentures, and Invisalign to our patients.
Oral surgery is an option for patients who have a severe TMJ disorder. We will diagnose and recommend treatment following a thorough exam.
What will happen if TMJ is not treated?
If left untreated, TMJ symptoms will worsen and become more severe over time. Patients may have chronic and debilitating headaches or broken, chipped, and cracked teeth. In order to prevent these problems, it is important to contact our office as soon as possible.
How long does it take to heal after TMJ surgery?
Recovery time from TMJ surgery can vary. Most of the options offered to patients are outpatient procedures, meaning you will be home on the same day. You may need multiple days of rest following your procedure, and your dental specialist will review aftercare with you.
How do I alleviate TMJ symptoms at home?
You can do many things at home to help alleviate TMJ pain. Apply an icepack to your jaw, take anti-inflammatory medicines, and try some jaw exercises. However, it is important to visit our office so we can evaluate your TMJ issues and recommend treatment.
How long does TMJ treatment take?
The typical TMJ duration for treatment in adults is between 18 months and 3 years. It may take a few weeks to a few months before you experience any noticeable results.
How does TMJ affect the brain?
TMJ disorder can interfere with the brain’s ability to transmit and receive messages. TMJ disorder causes a barrier between the information your brain wants to send and receive resulting in malfunction.
Is TMJ surgery painful?
You’ll typically feel jaw pain, tenderness, swelling, and bruising after TMJ surgery. For the first day following surgery, apply cold packs to the face for no longer than 20 minutes at a time to reduce pain and swelling.
Does TMJ surgery change your face?
Your face can appear imbalanced from the front, the side, or both when your jaw is out of place. Your facial symmetry may appear more aligned after a restorative jaw treatment.
Schedule a Consultation in our Frederick Office
If you think that you have a TMJ disorder, please call the Frederick Center for Dentistry today at 301.264.5680. You can also request a dental exam with our dentists on our website.