Dentists in Chevy Chase, MD, get to the root of TMJ dysfunction – effective treatment for lasting pain relief
Chances are, you’re searching for relief from pain – be it radiating facial pain, jaw pain, chronic migraines, earaches, or neck, shoulder, and back pain. Problems with the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) can manifest as different types of pain. Patients with TMJ Dysfunction or Disorders (TMJDs) (TMDs) may also experience jaw stiffness, locking, “noisy” jaw when they open or close their mouths and a host of other annoying to downright debilitating symptoms. At Hosaka Dental in Chevy Chase, MD, we are your destination for accurate diagnostics and, in turn, a multi-faceted treatment that effectively resolves the cause of your symptoms. After all, who better to treat conditions affecting the jaw joints and connected structures than those experts in oral-facial anatomy, Drs Erick Hosaka and Valerie Cassis?
Getting to the root of the problem
The TMJs are present on either side of your face. They behave like a hinge to facilitate fluid jaw movements. Any time stress is placed on these joints, and it can cause symptoms such as those mentioned above. “Stress” can be due to simple habits like chronic gum-chewing or degenerative conditions such as arthritis. Additionally, some patients who grind their teeth also have TMJ pain and stiffness. The pressure from the force of chronically grinding the teeth can not only damage the teeth and cause fractures, but it can also excessively strain the TMJs and interconnected tissues.
One-of-a-kind treatment plans
TMJD treatment can vary significantly from patient to patient because there are so many causes of characteristic pain and symptoms. Additionally, the frequency and severity of TMJ symptoms can vary considerably from person to person. Depending on the cause and the nature of your symptoms, we may recommend treatment with oral appliance therapy. These appliances are customized to fit in your mouth in a precise way that corrects the underlying TMD-related problem. For instance, an occlusal splint or bite guard may be designed if we suspect that bruxism (teeth grinding) is also stressing the jaw joints and producing headaches and other symptoms. The appliance may reposition your upper and lower teeth so that only the front teeth touch when you bite down. Since the back teeth do not touch when you bite, the force generated while grinding your teeth is reduced.
Dental treatments for TMJ provide lasting relief from pain by getting to the root of your symptoms. Our patients have reduced their reliance on pain meds or no longer need these drugs, which only address the symptoms and not the cause of the dysfunction. Contact Hosaka Dental at (301) 686-5255 to schedule your evaluation.