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 and Dr. Anshu Goyal 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. Sometimes, we may not even be able to pinpoint what is causing you TMJ symptoms. However, there are several contributing factors that are very obvious and consistent from patient to patient. Trauma to the head or face or genetics can contribute to jaw pain or misalignment.
Signs and symptoms of a TMJ disorder may include:
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Jaw pain especially when chewing, eating, or yawning
- Jaw popping or clicking when the jaw is moving
- Frequent headaches
- Orofacial pain
- Tooth wear
- Chronic earaches or ringing in the ears
- Locked jaw or difficulty opening your mouth
- Soreness or pain in the neck
About Teeth Grinding
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is one of the most common and serious symptoms or cause of a TMJ disorder. Many patients do not realize they grind their teeth as they may unconsciously do so at night during sleep. In fact, they may be coping with many side effects of it and not even realize why you are suffering. It is not until their dentist points out the worn down teeth that they realize they may grind their teeth at night.
Bruxism can affect anyone at any age. However, most children seem to grow out of it. Teeth grinding can also lead to damaged teeth and gum disease.
TMJ Treatment in Frederick, MD
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.
TMJ Treatment FAQs
TMJ disorders are complex and can be very painful. Treating them can help you find relief and able to live a normal life. Read through our frequently asked questions TMJ treatment. Call our Frederick dental office if you have any further questions.
What will happen if TMJ is not treated?
Without treatment, TMJ symptoms will worsen and become more severe over time. TMJ disorders can lead to chronic pain and discomfort in your jaw joint and muscles. Gum recession or inflammation will get worse with TMJ issues.
TMJ disorders create jaw misalignment that lead to teeth grinding (bruxism). Teeth grinding can cause tooth wear, fractures, broken, chipped, and cracked teeth. Patients may also notice chronic and debilitating headaches from the constant strain on the jaw joint and muscles.
In order to prevent these problems, contact your dental office as soon as possible. Preventing teeth grinding and aligning your bite will help manage your TMJ disorder.
How long does it take to heal after TMJ surgery?
Recovery time from TMJ surgery can vary depending on the individual and the specific procedure. Most of the options we offer to patients are outpatient procedures, meaning you will be home on the same day. However, generally expect healing after TMJ surgery to take several weeks to months.
You’ll typically feel jaw pain, tenderness, swelling, and bruising after TMJ surgery. For the first day following surgery, apply cold packs to your face for no longer than 20 minutes at a time to reduce pain and swelling. However, you will need several days of rest following your procedure. Our dental specialist will review aftercare instructions and maintain open communication with you.
How do I alleviate TMJ symptoms at home?
You can do many things at home to help alleviate your TMJ pain. Here are a few methods you can try:
- Apply an ice pack or heat pack to your jaw. A warm compress or an ice pack can help reduce pain and swelling. Experiment with both heat and cold therapy to see which works best for you.
- Take anti-inflammatory medicines. These medicines can also help temporarily relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Try some jaw exercises. Gentle exercises can strengthen the muscles around your jaw joint.
- Avoid hard or chewy foods. Eat softer foods that require less chewing to minimize strain on your jaw joint. Cutting your food into smaller pieces and chewing slowly will also help.
These home remedies aim to alleviate symptoms temporarily, but it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. Especially if the symptoms persist despite trying these methods at home.
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. The duration of the treatment really depends on the patient and the severity of there condition. Also, how well they tolerate treatment will impact treatment time.
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. So, TMJ surgery may change the shape of your face but it is usually for the better.
Schedule a consult for TMJ treatment in Frederick, MD. If you think that you have a TMJ disorder, call the Frederick Center for Dentistry at 301-264-5680. You can also request a dentist appointment with our dentists on our website. We offer various forms of TMJ treatment in Frederick to help you find relief from your TMJ symptoms.