FAQ: All About TMJ Disorders

restorative dentist virginia beachAt Coastal Cosmetic + Implant Dentistry, our dentists in Virginia Beach VA can meet your needs under one roof. Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Reichley have the training, experience, and advanced technology to meet your needs with the highest standard of dental care. One restorative dentistry option that we offer our patients is TMJ treatment. Find out the answers to frequently asked questions regarding TMJ disorders below:

What is a TMJ disorder?

A TMJ disorder is any inflammation or injury to the temporomandibular joint of your jaw. This joint is the one at work when you are chewing, speaking, or moving your jaw in any way. The chronic pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders can put significant limitations on your life.

What causes TMJ Disorders?

TMJ disorders are often caused by underlying dental concerns. Often, we see patients who have a history of teeth grinding or jaw clenching develop TMJ disorders later in life. Additionally, patients with severe bite misalignment or several missing teeth are also prone to developing TMJ disorders. Any strain, tension, or trauma to the joint can lead to a TMJ disorder.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

Patients with TMJ disorders often experience frequent jaw pain, tension headaches, earaches, neck/shoulder pain, and worn-down teeth. They may also notice a popping or clicking noise whenever they open and close their mouths. Lockjaw and limited mobility in the jaw joints are also symptoms of TMJ disorders.

What are the treatment options for TMJ disorders?

The treatment options for TMJ disorders vary depending on the patient’s underlying dental concerns. For patients who have a history of teeth grinding, we may recommend oral appliance therapy to relieve tension on the joint. An oral appliance is a removable device that helps to keep the teeth and jaw in proper position during sleep and prevents teeth from grinding or clenching. If bite misalignment is found to be the underlying cause of your TMJ disorder, we may recommend orthodontics or bite correction therapy.

My jaw hurts right now. What can I do?

To relieve jaw pain fast, take ibuprofen to reduce inflammation around the joint. You may also rest a cold compress over the affected area. Avoid chewing gum or eating crunchy foods while experiencing jaw pain. Most importantly, schedule an appointment with our dentists at Coastal Cosmetic + Implant Dentistry to learn more about your treatment options. TMJ symptoms can have a devastating impact on your personal and professional life. We will help you manage your symptoms and treat the underlying causes of your TMJ disorder to reduce flareups from occurring.