Temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ or TMD, is the name given to dozens of issues that can result in misalignment of the jaw. Neuromuscular dentistry focuses on the detection and treatment of these common jaw disorders.
Symptoms of TMJ
The most common symptoms of TMJ occur in and around the jaw. These can include:
- Clicking, popping, or grinding noises when opening and shutting the mouth
- Pain and swelling around the jaw joint
- Chipped teeth, cracked teeth, and worn teeth
- Difficulties opening the mouth
These are clear indications of jaw misalignment and should be brought to the attention of Dr. Marzban immediately.
Additional symptoms of TMJ include:
- Chronic headaches
- Generalized facial pain
- Ear, eye, and nasal pressure/pain
- Tinnitus and vertigo
- Neck and backaches
These issues are often related to misalignment of the jaw, but often doctors and other healthcare providers misdiagnose them. People with TMJ can spend years seeing many doctors, specialists, and therapists. They often try many treatments that give minimal relief, temporary relief, or no relief. Sometimes doctors dismiss their symptoms as imaginary or not serious. Meanwhile, their symptoms can worsen and may disrupt their life, leading to lost work time and other challenges to maintaining a normal routine.
Because Dr. Marzban received her training from the world renowned Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, she has the experience necessary to identify even these more subtle and complex symptoms of TMJ.
The most effective way to address misalignment of the jaw is through TMJ treatment options that correct the underlying problem to provide lasting relief. Treatments offered by Dr. Marzban include:
- Customized mouthguards that relax and retrain muscles
- TENS therapy for immediate relaxation and pain relief
- Myofunctional therapy
- Dental restorations such as dental crowns or veneers
- ControlledArch Orthodontics
Treatment may be bolstered by medications and jaw exercises when appropriate. Stress reduction and lifestyle changes may also be necessary to fully treat jaw misalignment.
If you are interested in learning more about diagnosing and treating jaw misalignment, please contact our experienced Burke neuromuscular dentist for a TMJ evaluation today.
Causes of TMJ/TMD
Many dentists believe that symptoms of TMJ or TMD result from muscle exertion caused by an imbalance between the teeth and joints. Any sort of injury to your temporomandibular joint or the muscles of your neck and head can cause TMD.
Other possible TMD causes include:
- Developmental issues such as tongue tie
- Stress which causes the tightening of facial and jaw muscles
- Teeth clenching
- Grinding your teeth
- Dislocation of the soft cushion disc between your jaw ball and socket
- Any presence of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the TMJ
Our Fairfax dentist, Dr. Pamela Marzban will examine your temporandibular joint for pain or tenderness; listen for any popping or clicking during jaw movement; and examine your bite and facial muscle functionality to determine the best course of dental treatment. For people with tongue tie, we might recommend tongue tie release either before or as part of treatment.
Your Body and TMJ
In addition to your face and neck, any issues with your temporomandibular joint also affect body positioning and your posture. While attempting to compensate for a sloping jaw, your head and neck will adjust their positions. This can result in shrugged shoulders, hunching, or other postural improprieties.
Some systemic issues which can be related to TMD are:
- Irregular blood pressure
- Deterioration of digestive function
- Back or spinal pain
- Decreased oxygenation of your organs
- Diminished lung capacity
Any oxygenation issues, in particular, can radically affect your temperament, mood and even impact your cognitive abilities negatively. However, many people don’t realize the connection between these issues and their jaw alignment.
With a regularly scheduled examination, Dr. Pamela Marzban and our dental technician team will thoroughly examine your jaw joint with our advanced dental technology, which includes using the K-7 computer system, jaw tracking, computerized mandibular scanning, and T-Scan digital bite measurement.
If you are suffering with any TMJ or TMD symptoms and reside in or around Burke, Fairfax, or Fairfax Station, VA, please contact Dr. Pamela Marzban to schedule your TMJ evaluation today. Or, call 703-323-8200 to schedule your initial consultation.