How can we help you?
We're experts at what we do so you don't have to be. But there's a lot to consider when making decisions about dental treatment, and you have a right to feel fully informed and have all your questions answered.
At Dr. Fairfax & Associates Family Dentistry, we're firm believers in educating our patients about the benefits of a healthy smile, so your questions are very important to us. We encourage your questions because we believe that an informed patient is a happy patient!
Here are a few of the questions we hear most frequently. Please give us a call if you're looking for other answers that you don't see here. A friendly member of our team will be happy to help you.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, commonly known as “TMD,” can negatively impact your life and make it difficult to even get through your daily routine. When you’re living with symptoms of your temporomandibular joint, or “TMJ,” you might not even realize it—dismissing your pain as “normal” or attributing it to a different body part.
Ignoring or mislabeling your symptoms can be dangerous to your oral health because you need to treat your TMJ if you want to protect your smile. So how can you distinguish between TMJ warning signs and other medical conditions?
First, you need to watch for the following symptoms:
- Sounds or sensations of clicking, grinding, or popping in your jaw
- Frequent headaches or migraines, especially upon waking
- Visible wear and tear on your teeth, including broken teeth and a worn-down appearance
- Ringing in your ears
- Constant pain in your jaw, especially when you yawn, speak, or try to chew
Particularly if you experience multiple of these warning signs together, you likely have TMJ.
The next thing to do is to contact your Fairfax dentist and schedule a thorough examination. Sometimes, only a dental professional can tell for sure whether you’re experiencing TMJ.
If we confirm your diagnosis, then we can provide TMJ treatment in Fairfax, VA to mitigate your pain and minimize your symptoms. Custom mouthguards are usually one of the first treatments we will try for TMJ, but we may also choose to place dental restorations such as crowns or bridges to stabilize your bite.
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 greatly improve your quality of life.
What is the TMJ?
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 meet evenly 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 so there is no more unnatural stress being put on your jaw. Even a small adjustment can make a big difference.
Your dentist might recommend a mouth guard that you wear while sleeping if you are a teeth grinder.