Symptoms such as jaw pain, tension headaches, migraines, joint pain, or ringing in the ear could mean that you have TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. Often, patients are unsure if these symptoms qualify as a dental concern. However, these symptoms could be caused by factors such as grinding or clenching your teeth, certain habits, your anatomy, and posture.
As your trusted restorative dentist in Glyndon, MD, Dr. Leah Romay is happy to diagnose and provide treatment options to patients experiencing TMJ disorders. Together, she will work with you to figure out the underlying concerns causing your pain and treat them affordably and effectively.
TMJ Treatment in Glyndon, MD
TMJ disorders can be triggered due to a variety of underlying dental concerns. Often it occurs in patients who have a history of teeth grinding or clenching. Additionally, patients who have severely misaligned bite patterns or missing teeth may develop a TMJ disorder. Stresses from work, family, or school can make the condition worse.
Dr. Leah Romay will work with you to determine the cause of your TMJ disorder. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding our TMJ treatment options:
What are my treatment options for TMJ disorders?
Your TMJ treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of your disorder. If you have missing or broken teeth that are affecting your jaw alignment, restorative dentistry services will be recommended.
If you have a misaligned bite, orthodontics can help correct it and create more favorable biting forces. For many patients, we recommend oral appliance therapy, which involves the use of a nightguard or occlusal guard to allow the jaw to be in a healthy resting position during sleep.
Nightguards prove to be very effective for many people. Dr. Romay can also perform botulinum toxin injections to muscles that are causing pain and headaches, as well as trigger point injections to focus on muscles that are causing referred pain. Ultimately, your treatment will depend on Dr. Romay’s evaluation to determine a personalized treatment plan specifically for your needs.
What symptoms are associated with TMJ disorders?
While jaw pain and tension headaches are the most common symptoms, they are by no means the only symptoms of TMJ. Additional symptoms may include earaches, facial soreness, difficulty chewing, or a popping/clicking noise whenever you open or close your mouth.
Dr. Romay screens all of her patients for signs of TMJ disorders during regular appointments, but it is good to report any symptoms you may have experienced outside of the dentist’s office during your appointments as well.
My jaw hurts right now. What can I do?
Practicing mindfulness is a great way to prevent jaw pain from occurring. Leave yourself small reminders around your home to relax your facial muscles and unclench your jaw throughout your day. Practice good posture, particularly when using tech devices or sitting at your desk.
Avoid chewing gum and eating very crunchy or chewy foods, as this will further exacerbate the pain. A cold compress or warm compress, whichever feels better to you, and gentle massage of the sore spots can help reduce your discomfort as well. The best thing to do for your jaw pain is to call and schedule an appointment to be evaluated for a long-term treatment plan.
How long does TMJ treatment take?
The usual length of TMJ treatment for adults ranges from 18 months to three years. Therapies like jaw massages, stretching, and stress-reduction activities can bring about some immediate alleviation, however, it can take weeks or even months to fully begin to experience full time relief.
Can TMJ affect your hearing?
Some people may experience ear pain, tinnitus, and hearing loss as a result of TMJ issues. Your skull and lower jaw are connected by the temporomandibular joint, which is also close to your ear. Problems with this joint can cause hearing and other issues to occur.
How can I relax my jaw when I sleep?
To relax your jaw, place the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This exercise will relax your jaw muscles . By placing a warm towel in front of your earlobe on your cheek at night, you can also relax your jaw muscles.
Can TMJ affect your digestive system?
TMJ may negatively impact the function of your digestive system. A recent University of Massachusetts study found that TMJ sufferers had almost 100% more digestive issues than people without jaw issues. Chewing is the initial stage of digestion, however TMJ can make it very difficult to properly chew food.
Schedule An Appointment
If you suspect you’re suffering from a TMJ disorder or have been experiencing any TMJ symptoms, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Leah Romay at your earliest convenience. We want to see you as soon as possible to minimize any discomfort you may be experiencing.