Dr. Jane Brodsky and Associates
Cosmetic & General Dentistry & Invisalign located in North Bethesda, MD
Did you know that more than 10 million Americans are living with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain? While this problem is incredibly common, left untreated, it can have a negative impact on your quality of life. At her self-titled practice in North Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Jane Brodsky, and the dental team offer safe, effective treatment to relieve TMJ-related pain. To learn more about your treatment options, make an appointment by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool today.
TMJ & TMD Treatment Q & A
What is TMJ?
You have two temporomandibular joints on either side of your jaw. These joints act as sliding hinges and assist you in daily activities like yawning, chewing, and speaking.
TMJ disorders, also known as TMJ or TMD, develop when there’s a problem with your jaw joint or the muscles and ligaments that assist your jaw’s movement.
Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes TMJ, but a combination of factors including genetics, jaw injuries, and arthritis are thought to play a role. TMJ problems can also develop as a result of grinding or clenching your teeth.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
The symptoms of TMJ vary from patient to patient, but telltale signs include:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw tenderness
- Facial pain
- Aching pain
You might also experience pain or general discomfort when chewing, yawning, or speaking.
When should I see a dentist regarding TMJ?
Most cases of TMJ resolve on their own with conservative measures of care such as rest, taking over-the-counter pain medication, and ice and heat therapy. However, if your symptoms persist or they interfere with your ability to open your mouth or chew, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jane Brodsky.
How is TMJ or TMD pain diagnosed?
To diagnose TMJ, Dr. Brodsky performs an oral exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about the symptoms you’re experiencing. She might also observe the range of motion of your jaw, press on areas around your jaw to pinpoint the source of your pain, or listen to your jaw while you open and close your mouth.
If these tests don’t provide adequate information or insights, Dr. Brodsky might recommend taking a series of X-rays or an MRI to get a closer look at your jaw, teeth, and underlying bone structure.
How are TMJ and TMD pain treated?
The treatment for TMJ depends on the severity of your symptoms.
Depending on the source of your discomfort, Dr. Brodsky might recommend replacing missing teeth, extracting teeth, or adjusting your bite with orthodontic treatment like Invisalign®. If you experience frequent headaches or facial pain, Dr. Brodsky might recommend wearing an oral appliance like a night guard.
A night guard is a prescription appliance you wear while you’re sleeping. Wearing a night guard aligns your jaw and helps prevent your teeth from grinding together. This significantly lowers your risk of jaw pain and tooth damage.
If you’re tired of suffering from chronic jaw or facial pain, know that treatment is available. Request your TMJ consultation at Jane Brodsky, DMD, MS, by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool today.