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TMJ Treatment Hunt Valley, MD

TMJ TherapyAn Overview

If you’re suffering from constant headaches and pain in the jaw, you might have a problem in your temporomandibular joints, referred to as TMJ. These muscles are positioned on either side of your skull and make it possible to open and close your mouth. The issue can develop serious dental health problems down the road. However, your dentist can treat these effects.

Dr. Ashley Izadi and Dr. Roham Rafat are restorative dentists near Hunt Valley, MD with advanced training and experience in the treatment of TMJ disorders.

You can count on Valley Dental Health for personalized, focused care. Our dentists will spend ample time getting to know you and educating you on all available treatment options. Few clinicians are trained to properly identify, diagnose, and treat TMJ disorders (also known as TMD).

What is a TMJ disorder or syndrome?

TMJ syndrome, temporomandibular joint syndrome, TMJ disorder, and TMD are all interchangeable terms used to describe a jaw joint issue.

Each TMJ has a disc between the ball and socket of the joint, and each disc supports the load while enabling the jaw to open wide, rotate, and glide. This complicated system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones work together when you chew, speak, and swallow. It also controls the lower jaw as it moves backward, forward, and side-to-side. Anything that prevents this system from working properly is called a TMJ disorder, or TMD.

What Causes TMD?

Possible causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • Dislocation of the jaw
  • Arthritis
  • Misalignment of the jaw and teeth
  • Teeth grinding due to stress, especially during sleep
  • Injury to jaw or surrounding area

Frequently caused by an imbalance in the bite, TMJ has a variety of signs and symptoms. Some symptoms include tenderness in the muscles and joints in the jaw, clicking, popping, difficulty of motion, and persistent headaches. The most prevalent symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Pain around ears
  • Pain in jaw, tooth, face, neck or shoulders
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw
  • Locked jaw or inability to open mouth (with or without pain) in the normal range of motion
  • Teeth grinding
  • Ringing in the ears, or a sensation of fullness (like when flying in an airplane)

It is important for patients experiencing symptoms of TMJ to be thoroughly evaluated so that treatment can address the imbalance in the bite. Dr. Roham Rafat and Dr. Ashley Izadi have extensive experience with bite disorders.

We offer TMJ therapy and will take the time to determine the imbalance within your occlusal system in order to create a treatment plan that will provide comfortable and long lasting results.

How do you fix a TMJ disorder?

For patients with a mild TMJ disorder, our dentists may take a conservative approach and recommend the use of a mouthguard. The custom fit mouthguard is used to help prevent tooth-grinding and jaw clenching during sleep and /or stressful situations.

Tooth grinding and jaw clenching are one of the things that can contribute to TMJ and the jaw and facial pain that go along with it.

For patients with more complex issues related to malocclusion, Valley Dental Health can offer a variety of treatment options, including bite correction therapy.

This may involve using one or more restorative or cosmetic dental procedures to realign the teeth and ensure they come into contact correctly. Dr. Rafat or Dr. Izadi may suggest a dental crown, bonding or the use of orthodontics to accomplish this goal and restore oral health.

If you have experienced any symptoms of TMJ, contact Valley Dental Health and schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options.

TMJ Disorder FAQs

Do I need oral surgery if I have a TMJ disorder?

You will only need to see an oral surgeon if you have severe symptoms and have been living with this disorder for quite some time. Our dentists can relieve TMJ pain without the need for corrective jaw surgery.

How do I alleviate TMJ symptoms at home?

You can do many things at home to help alleviate TMJ pain. Apply an icepack to your jaw pain, take anti-inflammatory medicines like Ibuprofen, and try some jaw exercises. Be sure to visit our dentists to evaluate your TMJ issues for treatment recommendations. Dentists are your first line of defense for TMJ disorders.

What happens if TMJ is not treated?

If you do not seek professional treatment for your TMJ disorder, you are at risk of developing more health issues. TMJ contributes to teeth grinding, worn teeth, broken and cracked teeth.

TMJ Therapy What to Expect

TMJ Disorders Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Izadi’s and Dr. Rafat’s goals with TMJ therapy is to gently bring the head, neck, and jaw into a natural, comfortable position. Our dentists start with a comprehensive evaluation to look for the signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction.

There are several methods of treatments for TMJ disorders. This step-by-step plan allows you to try simple remedies at home before moving on to more involved treatment. These steps advocate for a “less is more” approach in treating TMJ disorders, which includes:

  • Applying heat packs to pain
  • Eating softer foods
  • Avoiding chewing non-food items such as fingernails or pen caps

Valley Dental Health also treats TMJ patients with mouthguards that help keep the teeth and jaw in the proper position. Usually worn during sleep, a mouthguard can alleviate symptoms by improving stability of the jaw and reducing inflammation.

In some cases, advanced diagnostic equipment is used to help identify the source of instability.

TMJ Mouthguard

Mouthguard for TMJ treatment in Hunt Valley MD

A TMJ mouthguard is a removable oral appliance that helps to keep the teeth and jaw in proper position. Usually worn during sleep, this oral appliance may also prevent teeth grinding or clenching which can lead to tooth wear and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

TMJ treatment through splints, mouth guards and night guards can help to alleviate the most common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction and prevent damage to the teeth and gums.