TMJ Treatment in Fairfax VA

If one part of the body is in pain or damaged, it can lead to discomfort in another area of the body. If you are suffering from TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), you may not be aware that your head, neck, and jaw pain are symptoms of this disorder.

Dr. Cerina Fairfax knows that you don’t have to endure TMJ pain and allow it to control your life. At Dr. Fairfax & Associates Family Dentistry, we take advantage of modern dental techniques to provide effective treatments for relieving TMD pain.

Get the TMJ Pain Relief You Need

We are sympathetic to your discomfort and will work with you until we find the solution that eliminates your TMJ pain so you can take back your life. Please call our Fairfax, VA dental office today, and we’ll be happy to arrange a complimentary consultation.

What are TMJ and TMD?

Do you often awaken with pain in the jaw, neck, head, or shoulders? All of these are symptoms that could be related to pain in your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. You may hear these symptoms referred to as TMJ. However, TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint itself.

The TMJ is a complex hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull and controls the up-and-down and side-to-side movement of your jaw. You can feel this joint moving if you place your fingers in front of your ears and open and close your jaw.

When there’s a problem with this joint, we call it Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD.

There are several conditions that can cause pain in the jaw joint and the muscles involved in the closing and opening of the jaw. These include teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism), an imbalanced dental bite, injury, arthritis, and even genetics.

The first step is to call and ask us about treatment for TMJ pain at our Fairfax, VA dental office. Dr. Fairfax has helped many of her patients by minimizing painful symptoms and addressing the root cause of the dysfunction. We will be happy to meet with you to discuss your symptoms and explain what TMJ treatment involves.

How do I know if I have TMD

Any of these problems can be symptoms of TMD:

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw
  • Tooth breakage and dental wear
  • Trouble opening and closing the jaw
  • Ringing in the ears or tinnitus
  • Pain in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us so we can tell you about the TMJ treatment we offer our Fairfax, VA patients.

Why do I need to treat TMJ symptoms?

People who suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder might experience pain in their head, neck, or shoulders. Some sufferers experience other symptoms, such as chronic dizziness, earaches, and ringing in their ears.

No one should have to suffer from these uncomfortable and often painful symptoms. Getting TMJ treatment in Fairfax, VA, can significantly improve your quality of life.

The TMJ is the “hinge” that allows us to open and close our mouth and connects the lower jaw to the skull. When the joint becomes inflamed, this can cause pain. It can also limit mobility when sufferers are speaking, chewing, or yawning.

A bad bite—also called malocclusion—can be responsible for TMJ because your teeth do not evenly meet when you bite down. If you grind your teeth, this can also cause TMJ. Getting treated for TMJ will not only end your pain, but it can save your teeth from further uneven wear.

Treatment for TMJ might involve having your bite adjusted to eliminate the unnatural stress that's being placed on your jaw. Even a small adjustment can make a big difference!

If you also grind your teeth, our Fairfax, VA dentist might also recommend a custom mouthguard that you wear while sleeping to protect your teeth from damage and minimize the pressure on your jaw joints.

How do you treat TMD?

The goal of TMJ treatment is to minimize painful symptoms, improve function and mobility of the jaw, and allow you to go back to enjoying a better quality of life. However, each situation is different, so the team at Dr. Fairfax & Associates Family Dentistry will use our skill and expertise to find the solution that will help you in the best possible way.

When you come to us for TMJ treatment at our Fairfax dental office, the first step is a thorough evaluation of your oral health with Dr. Fairfax to pinpoint the source of your pain. Our goal is to use the most conservative TMJ treatments whenever possible. In many cases, the most effective non-invasive solutions for alleviating the painful symptoms of TMD are medication therapy and techniques for reducing your general stress level.

Depending on your situation, we may choose one or more of the following treatments:

  • Replace missing teeth
  • Use crowns to adjust an imbalanced bite
  • Place bridges to provide jaw support
  • Build up worn or broken down teeth
  • Equilibrate your dental bite

We provide TMD treatment in Fairfax, VA to decrease pain, increase jaw function, and limit the impact of TMD on your everyday life.

How does a night guard help with TMJ symptoms?

There are a number of conditions that cause pain in the jaw joint, including teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism) or an imbalanced dental bite. Teeth grinding can occur during the daytime, but many people grind their teeth during sleep. They may suffer from symptoms like jaw pain and headaches and not realize that teeth grinding is the culprit.

If your bite is uneven, there’s more pressure placed on one side of your mouth than the other. This action puts a lot of excess stress on the teeth on that side of your mouth.

In some cases, teeth grinding can be so harmful that it results in dental erosion, fractures, or loose teeth. Chronic grinding can even damage bridges, crowns, and dentures to the extent that they need replacement.

But a customized night guard can eliminate grinding and provide you with the relief you need. A night guard is a simple but powerful device. When you wear it while you sleep, it prevents your upper and lower teeth from coming into contact with each other, which stops grinding.

Your nightguard will be customized using impressions of your teeth to ensure a perfect fit. Simply wear the night guard while you sleep, and you’ll be surprised by the difference it makes to your comfort!

Do you also make custom sports guards?

Are you or your child involved in sports like football, soccer, baseball, and basketball? In addition to splints and night guards for TMD and teeth grinding, we also provide protective sports mouth guards for children and adults.

Using a dental impression, we create high-quality customized sports guards to protect teeth from injury. Custom sports guards are far superior to generic guards because they're made to fit your teeth snugly, and the material used is designed to absorb greater force.