TMJ Specialist Near You in McLean, VA
Are you currently experiencing jaw pain, difficulty chewing, or headaches?
TMJ disorders can also cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches as a result of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ/TMD. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder. Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
If you or a family member are currently experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ disorder, we encourage you to see our jaw pain specialists at McLean Healthy Smiles.
Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation, during which we will discuss your options, review payment or insurance options, answer all of your questions, and see if you’re a good candidate for TMJ treatment at McLean Healthy Smiles.
Whether you are dealing with gaps in your smile, malocclusion, or crooked teeth, we will help you determine what’s best for your smile.
Call us now at (703) 356-5330 or send us a message.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Our teeth affect our entire body. Many people don’t realize this, but headaches, neck pain and facial pain are often the results of poor dental hygiene. If you don’t take care of your teeth, this can lead to problems later in life.
One of those health issues is TMJ and TMJ related disorders (TMD). These are unpleasant and painful and can decrease your quality of life. Treating TMJ and TMJ issues and TMD pain in McLean is as easy as making a dentist appointment. McLean Healthy Smiles specializes in treatment for TMJ and TMD issues and has all the information you need to start the recovery process.
Common TMJ disorder symptoms include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
Should you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know. We can help indicate the presence of TMJ and create an effective treatment plan just for you.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
It can be challenging to pinpoint the exact reason behind someone’s TMJ disorder. The pain you experience may be a result of various factors, including genetics, arthritis, or a jaw injury. Some individuals who have jaw pain also have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth (known as bruxism). However, it’s important to note that many people habitually clench or grind their teeth without ever developing TMJ disorders.
TMJ is a complex system that works with the masticatory muscles as well as teeth. The occlusion/bite relationship of your upper teeth plays a huge role and can contribute significantly to the health of the area. If teeth are out of place, it can adversely affect your TMJ.
TMJ Disorder Treatment Options
There is no widely accepted safe or effective treatment of TMD at the moment. If you do have TMD, make sure that any treatments that are attempted are non-permanent, as permanent surgeries could cause long-term disability. If the pain is an issue, you can use over-the-counter NSAIDS such as ibuprofen to manage the pain, and if it gets to be too much you can request stronger medication from your healthcare provider.
Stabilization splints may be recommended but they should only be used for short lengths of time to avoid permanent changes in your bite. Surgery is usually considered a last resort or final option when other less invasive methods have not been successful in treating your jaw pain or TMD. However, certain individuals with TMJ disorders might find surgical treatments beneficial.
TMJ Disorder Diagnosis
There is no current TMD standard test, so health care providers will take note of all symptoms, including dental and medical history, or do imaging studies to determine whether or not you could have TMD. Often ruling out other symptoms will help narrow the diagnosis down to TMD.
Are You Suffering from the Possible Signs of TMD?
If you are dealing with jaw pain and headaches or other symptoms of TMD, book an appointment with McLean Healthy Smiles today to get checked out.
How to Prevent TMJ Disorder or Keep It From Worsening
There are a few simple steps you can take at home or work to prevent TMJ from becoming more severe or to help prevent it from getting worse:
- Relax your face — remember the rule: “Lips together, teeth apart”
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid constant gum-chewing
- Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver in your hand
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin resting on your hand
- Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
Making these changes can reduce the symptoms or eliminate them entirely. However, if you are still uncomfortable or in pain, it is time to see a medical professional for treatment. These symptoms can inhibit your quality of life and lead to larger problems in the future.
We encourage you to talk with local TMJ specialist Dr. Vidya Colospate here at McLean Healthy Smiles for more information on treatment specific to your particular situation. Dr. Colospate has years of experience with TMJ and TMJ-related disorders, she can help treat TMJ and TMD in McLean and get you an effective treatment plan.
There is significant interrelationship between TMJ and the muscles of mastication and the teeth. Dr. Colospate evaluates all these three components: TMJ evaluation, muscle palpation and occlusal analysis (bite), and then recommends treatment to help alleviate symptoms to provide immediate relief and also any treatment for the long-term to help prevent recurrence.
Taking the time for self-care and being aware of things like posture and jaw clenching will help prevent further damage from TMD.
Self-Treatment for TMJ Issues and TMD Pain in McLean, VA
Self-care is important for your health and well-being. Practice self-care routines to decrease symptoms, in many situations, the pain and discomfort caused by TMJ disorders are temporary and can be eased through self-care or nonsurgical treatments. There are many things you can do at home to reduce the effects of TMD, such as: eating soft food, using ice packs, minimize extreme jaw movements, relaxation techniques, and jaw exercises.
Be sure to chew on both sides of your mouth so symptoms don’t worsen on one side. If you need stronger pain relief, over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available. However, sometimes it is necessary to seek the help of a medical professional.
Sometimes simple jaw exercises and warm/cold compressors are recommended by Dr. Colospate. However, she may recommend appliance therapy when needed for long-term benefits.
If you find yourself a victim of bad habits, make a plan for change. Also, make an appointment with a medical professional. Professional treatment for TMJ and TMD in McLean is available.
Four Mistakes to Avoid in Managing TMJ and TMD Pain
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) has several symptoms that you may be unaware of such as headaches, neck pain, and problems with chewing and swallowing. There is often swelling in the face and joint area. When dealing with this problem, many people make mistakes that increase the symptoms instead of decreasing them.
There are a lot of things that will make your symptoms worse if you continue to do them.
- Clenching Jaw or Grinding Teeth. Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can not only worsen the symptoms of TMD, but they can also cause other health problems such as headaches and neck pain. Some people do these things without realizing it, especially when concentrating hard. Try to relax your jaw and face when focused.
- Non-Functional Jaw Activities. These are activities that don’t promote healthy habits and can irritate the joints. Chewing gum, biting nails, chewing a pen lid, or on clothing are a few examples.
- Resting Your Head on Your Chin. Resting your chin in your hand or on hard surfaces puts pressure on your jaw. This will irritate your joints and cause pain and other dental health problems.
- Poor Posture. Teeth and neck pain can be caused by poor posture. Things like slouching, and looking down at your phone or book can cause strain on your neck and jaw. Try to avoid bending your neck downward or slouching in your seat.
If you find yourself doing these things, it is likely your symptoms will get worse. Work on changing your habits and develop new self-care routines to decrease discomfort.
Get TMJ Disorder Treatment Near You
Stop searching Google for “tmj treatment near me” or “tmj specialist in McLean.”
You’ve come to the right place. If you have any questions about our treatment process for TMJ disorder here at McLean Healthy Smiles, we encourage you to learn more by speaking with our highly regarded TMJ specialist located near you.
To schedule a consultation, please contact our office. During this appointment, we will discuss your options, go over payment and insurance choices, address all of your questions, and determine if you’re a suitable candidate.
Whether you need an oral appliance, physical therapy, or more advanced treatments, we are here to end your discomfort and assist you in every way possible.
We offer TMJ/TMD treatment in the following cities in Virginia.
McLean, Great Falls, Falls Church, Arlington, Vienna