Sleep is very restorative, and we all know that interrupted sleep cycles can lead to weight gain, alteration of hormones, memory problems and irritability. In addition, certain physical conditions such as a temporomandibular joint (TMJ or TMD) disorder can be exacerbated during our sleep cycles.
Bruxism (or grinding your teeth) may regularly occur during sleep, and you may not even be aware of this. Finding the right TMJ dentist can mean the difference between healthy, restful sleep or progressively painful TMD symptoms.
Dr. Michael Chung has years of experience treating TMJ disorders in the Oakton, Fairfax, Vienna and Reston, Virginia, areas. Call 703-319-6990 to schedule your initial TMJ evaluation.
Most TMJ-related issues are caused by effects of physical stress on the facial structures around the jaw joint. These can include:
- Face, neck and jaw muscles
- The cartilage disk at the jaw joint
- Facial or jaw ligaments, blood vessels and nerves
There are other factors that can affect TMD symptoms such as lack of sleep, poor diet, stress and even poor posture, such as straining your neck and head forward looking at a computer.
For many people, the most common symptom of a TMD disorder is a pain or ache in certain 'trigger points' like your head, neck or jaw. Here are symptoms commonly associated with TMJ disorders:
- Locking of the jaw
- Pain or tenderness around the jaw
- Difficulty closing or opening the mouth
- Clicking, grating or popping sound when moving the mouth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- A dull, aching facial pain
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be wise to consult with our experienced TMJ dentist at Softouch Dental Care.
TMJ Dental Treatment
Once you have identified TMJ disorder as the cause of your symptoms, it is time to explore how treatment can alleviate the pain and prevent your night-time teeth-grinding. Some patients find relief with simple therapies such as stretching exercises and eliminating poor oral health habits like pen chewing. Many patients benefit from the use of custom-made nightguards, which are designed to hold your jaw in a comfortable resting position as you sleep and eliminate teeth grinding.
In addition, you may be advised to start with gentle, simple therapies like:
- Stretching exercises for your mouth and face
- Moist cold or heat packs
- Avoiding actions like singing, chewing gum or yawning
Dr. Chung offers a variety of TMD treatment options for the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders. He will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the precise cause of your condition. Based on this diagnosis, Dr. Chung will formulate an individual treatment plan to treat the cause of your TMJ and find lasting relief from its uncomfortable symptoms.
Please contact Softouch Dental Care at 703-319-6990 today to schedule your initial evaluation. Dr. Chung has years of experience treating TMJ patients in Oakton, Fairfax, Vienna, Reston and throughout Northern Virginia.