Temporomandibular disorder, or TMJ/TMD, is a painful disorder of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects the jaw to the skull. The TMJ itself is one of the most complicated joints in the human body, moving backwards and forwards, sideways, and up-and-down. Because of this complicated movement, it's possible for the joint to become out of alignment due to injury, bad habits, offset teeth, or just wear-and-tear, causing many painful symptoms.
Some of the most common TMJ symptoms include:
- Jaw clicking
- Jaw locking
- Stiffness of the jaw joint
- Sensitive teeth
- Earaches or tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Pain in the face, teeth, neck, or shoulders
- Teeth grinding
Many of these symptoms can be related to other conditions or injuries, which is why it's important to consult with a neuromuscular dentist such as Dr. Michael Chung, who can evaluate your symptoms from a dental standpoint and either affirmatively diagnose or rule out TMJ.
If your symptoms are a result of TMJ/TMD, treatment options may include dental work to realign teeth or replace missing teeth to fix the alignment of your bite, temporarily wearing an orthotic to retrain jaw muscles to hold your jaw in the right position, and physical therapy to relax the muscles in your face, neck, and shoulders.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from TMJ. To get an accurate diagnosis from Dr. Chung, schedule your personal consultation by contacting Softouch Dental Care at 703-319-6990 today. We serve patients in all areas of Northern Virginia.