The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that links your jawbone to your skull. Excessive strain, injury or trauma, and bruxism (teeth grinding) can cause the joint to become inflamed, leading to TMJ disorders or TMD. The symptoms of TMD can vary, so many patients may not even know they have it.
Since November is TMJ Awareness Month, it’s an excellent opportunity to make yourself aware of the symptoms of TMJ so that you can receive the proper treatment and relief should you need it.
Discover what causes TMD and its symptoms so you can receive proper treatment.
What Causes TMD?
The TMJ works like a sliding hinge, covered by cartilage and separated by an absorbing disk. The absorbing disk and the cartilage keep jaw movement smooth and prevent clicking and friction at the joint.
TMD begins to occur when the disk erodes or moves out of alignment, when the cartilage is worn down (usually due to arthritis), or when the joint is damaged due to an injury.
You may also be more at risk if you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth.
What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, visit a dentist right away for a proper diagnosis if:
- You are experiencing pain and discomfort in your jaw.
- You have pain near the TMJ (around the temple).
- You experience earaches, headaches, or migraines.
- You have difficulty chewing.
- You struggle to open and close your mouth.
- You experience a general ache in your face.
- Your jaw clicks when you open or move it.
Since the causes of TMD are not always known, it’s best to schedule an exam to have a professional determine whether it’s TMD.
Discover Your Treatment Options
If you’re experiencing symptoms of TMD, Galleria Dental Aesthetics is your go-to choice for a TMJ dentist in Mclean and Arlington, VA. Dr. Chong Lee can work with you to determine if lifestyle changes, dental therapies, or surgery are needed.
With the latest technology, Dr. Chong can make the proper diagnoses and choose the right solution to treat your TMD. Relief is just around the corner at Galleria Dental Aesthetics. Contact the office at (703) 448-1020 to get started.