Burke, Virginia, neuromuscular dentist Pamela Marzban knows that a noninvasive, conservative approach to treating temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ or TMD) is always preferable. Misalignment of your temporomandibular joint discovered during your routine checkups can often be corrected without the need for surgical or orthodontic treatments. Early detection is essential to treating TMJ without surgical intervention.
Treating TMJ means bringing your jaw back into its proper alignment. To determine the proper alignment of your jaw, Dr. Marzban will use a TENS Unit to relax the muscles around your temporomandibular joint and map your jaw’s optimal position. Based on her findings, she will then customize a treatment option that is most ideally suited to meet your needs. If you are looking for a neuromuscular dentist in Burke, VA, please call today to talk to Dr. Marzban.
Home Care for TMJ
Most cases of TMJ resolve on their own, without need for professional care. Therefore, you should first try to care for TMJ at home. Home care strategies to try include:
- Eat soft foods
- Avoid habits that stress your jaw and muscles, like chewing gum or biting fingernails
- Apply heat to sore muscles or cold to swollen joints
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (like ibuprofen)
While it is good to start with home care, it’s important that you don’t wait too long to seek help. TMJ can seriously damage your jaw joints, teeth, and other tissues if left untreated too long. So make sure you consult your doctor or dentist if:
- Pain does not respond to over-the-counter medication
- Pain and other effects persist for more than a week
- Symptoms worsen under home care
- Your jaw locks in place
- Symptoms prevent you from performing normal daily activities (such as sleep)
Always follow your doctor’s recommendations for home care. Never exceed recommended dosage for medications, unless instructed by a doctor. Never try to force your jaw open or closed, because doing so could damage your joints.
Early TMJ Treatment Options
When TMJ is diagnosed early, Dr. Marzban treats it with the use of noninvasive techniques including:
- Mouthguards that work to gently realign your jaw while you sleep
- Medications that allow your muscles to relax
- Electrical stimulation with a TENS Unit
- Myofunctional therapy
- Jaw exercises designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding your temporomandibular joint
We prefer to start with noninvasive, reversible treatments. TENS can relax your muscles and this may be enough to give relief. Myofunctional therapy retrains your muscles. Regular actions like swallowing and even the resting position of your tongue can contribute to TMJ. Learning better habits can reduce or eliminate TMJ. As we narrow down to the specific cause of your TMJ, we may recommend more permanent treatments. Dr. Marzban has helped many people who had almost given up hope. After seeing many doctors about their pain, a neuromuscular dentist gave them relief.
Advanced TMJ Treatment Options
TMD that has progressed beyond the point of being corrected with these methods may require procedures such as:
- Disc repositioning
- Jaw irrigation
- Articular eminence recontouring
- Partial joint replacement
When you come to our comfortable office for TMJ treatment, Dr. Marzban will work closely with you to help determine what treatment option is best suited to meet your needs. It is possible that a combination of noninvasive techniques can provide faster results.
Left untreated, TMJ can lead to a host of problems including limited jaw mobility, swelling and pain around the temporomandibular joint, uneven tooth wear, headaches, and even postural problems. However, treatment relieves TMJ, diminishes symptoms, and improves quality of life.
If you live in Burke, Fairfax, or Fairfax Station, Virginia, and would like to learn more about the treatment options available for TMJ, please contact the office of Dr. Pamela Marzban to schedule an initial TMJ consultation today.