TMJ Disorders ? Options Available

Posted by ridgetopdental on December 10th, 2015

Do you suffer from frequent headaches, pain or tenderness in face, jaw-joint, neck and shoulders? Then, your dentist might have a solution. According to the experts at Ridgetop Dental-the premier Northern Virginia Dental Clinic, Temporomandibular joint disorders can cause the above mentioned symptoms and visiting a good dentist can help you get a safe, non-surgical and effective treatment for your problems. Let’s take a look, how.

What is TMJ disorder?

Temporomandibular Joint disorder or TMJ refers to the pain that people experience around the jaw region. TMJ disorder can make chewing, speaking, swallowing, and other normal life activities very difficult.

How is TMJ caused?

This joint is located in front of the ear and consists of two bones--the skull bone and the jawbone; between these two bones, intra-articular disc is located. This disc helps in smooth and harmonious movement during the opening and closing of the mouth. Abnormal position of this disc leads to TMJ disorder.

Other causes of TMJ disorder include- damage to joint cartilage due to arthritis, damage to joint by blow or other impact, malocclusion, misalignment, missing teeth, grinding of teeth etc.

TMJ disorders can be genetic as well as acquired.

Symptoms of TMJ include:

Some of the noticeable symptoms of TMJ are:

  • Pain around the ear, temples, face, neck, back of eyes, back of head and shoulders
  • Ringing in the ears, hearing loss, ear pain.
  • Jaw clicking or popping
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Difficult chewing
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

How is TMJ diagnosed?

At Ridgetop Dental’s centre for general and cosmetic dentistry in Northern VA, the experts use several methods to diagnose Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders, including:

Clinical Exam

Correct diagnosis of the problem always begins with a thorough examination by Dr.Datta, one of the best and most experienced dentists in Northern Virginia for dental implants and other dental treatments. You may be asked to provide your detailed medical- history with specific questions about the symptoms, and duration of your jaw problems. The following examinations may be conducted:

Postural Examination –This type of examination is conducted to check for imbalances in the body's mechanics. One's posture affects the positional relationship of the lower jaw to the cranium and may lead to TMJ.

Cranio-cervical Examination – This examination is used to examine planes of the skull and the cervical ranges of motion.

TMJ Examination - This includes tracking your jaw movement, including smoothness, muscle coordination, and crossover patterns.

Apart from that your doctor will also evaluate your head, neck and shoulder region for the presence of inflammation.

Radiographic scan

It is the most reliable method of diagnosis. With the help of X-rays, the doctor is able to see the hidden areas in question and detect the changes in position.

How is TMJ treated?

TMJ pain may be treated in a variety of ways. Hot compresses, lifestyle change or pain killers may be prescribed that may minimize your pain. If nothing works, you may be asked to wear a night guard. A last resort for severe cases of TMJ is surgery.

Talk to your dentist today, if you experience nagging headaches and pain around jaw region. A good dentist, like Ridgetop Dental’s Northern Virginia dentist can help you find the best way to overcome your discomfort and frustration.

To schedule an appointment, visit-

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