TMJ Therapy in Tysons Corner & Vienna
Jaw pain, neck pain and even tingling in your arms and hands may be attributed to a joint disorder known as TMJ pain or TMD.
It can be difficult to find an experienced general dentist in Northern Virginia, but Priti Naik of Tysons believes your best level of oral health is in reach. As a highly skilled general dentist with a background in comprehensive therapies for oral health, Dr. Naik believes healthy smiles deserve to last a lifetime.
As your local dentist in Tysons, Dr. Naik believes in taking a preventive approach to modern dental care, treating small dental issues before they become big or expensive problems. In her warm and friendly office, smiles of all ages are kept cavity-free using ADA-recognized dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Dr. Naik also recommends that everyone attend six-month checkups to thwart issues like tooth decay and gum disease.
For patients who snore, grind their teeth, or suffer from TMJ disorder, relief can be found with custom-fitted oral appliances that alleviate distress and restore comfortable function. If you’re an athlete or the parent of one, you’ll want to learn more about athletic mouthguards that can help protect smiles from a dental injury. Our services in general dentistry span a wide range of treatments, so patients looking for the right care for their needs can find it conveniently.
What Is TMJ? Understanding The Basics
TMJ is short for “temporomandibular joint disorder,” and is also sometimes referred to as TMD. This condition is caused by damage, inflammation, or infection of the delicate “temporomandibular joint.”
This joint is responsible for connecting the jaw to the skull. Each joint is located directly underneath your ear. When it’s healthy, this joint moves smoothly and allows you to bite, yawn, open your mouth widely, chew, and perform other day-to-day actions with no problems.
However, when the temporomandibular joint becomes damaged and stops functioning correctly, this can cause a lot of problems and symptoms like pain when chewing, headaches, jaw “clicking” or “popping,” and even lockjaw or difficulty opening or closing your mouth, in extreme cases.
TMJ is often difficult to diagnose because it can be caused by multiple things. For example, overusing the jaw muscles and joints can cause TMJ. If you chew a lot of gum, for instance, you may end up straining your temporomandibular joint, resulting in TMJ. Frequent teeth grinding (bruxism) can also put a lot of unnatural strain on your jaw joints, and cause TMJ.
TMJ can also be caused by direct trauma to the joint, which can cause inflammation and pain or knock it out of place. A slip and fall or a hard hit to the jaw in a contact sport could cause the symptoms of TMJ.
Finally, TMJ may also be caused by chronic inflammatory disorders and autoimmune disorders. Patients with arthritis, for example, may have problems with their jaw joints and develop TMJ. Due to the multiple factors that are involved in diagnosing and treating TMJ, it’s important to get help from an experienced dentist in Vienna, Tysons Corner, and Mclean, such as Dr. Priti Naik.
What Helps With TMJ?
Depending on the cause of your TMJ, there may be multiple options for treating TMJ and helping with your condition. For example, lifestyle changes that reduce stress can help minimize grinding at night, and treat grinding-induced TMJ. You can also do things like stop chewing gum, or switch to a diet of mostly soft foods for a few weeks, so that your joint can have the time to heal itself.
Other at-home remedies include using alternating hot and cold packs to help with inflammation and discomfort, and jaw stretches that can help strengthen the jaw muscles and relax your jaw joints. Along with over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, this can be enough to resolve minor cases of TMJ.
However, more serious cases of TMJ may require professional treatment at the office of Dr. Priti Naik. In some cases, orthodontics like Invisalign may be recommended to correct your jaw position and help with TMJ or grinding.
An oral appliance, which looks similar to a night guard, may also be recommended. This oral appliance corrects the position of your jaw while you sleep, relieving stress on the joint and helping it heal properly.
Other options include muscle relaxants, or injections of corticosteroids directly into the jaw joint. Surgery is sometimes required, but this is only necessary for extremely serious cases of TMJ, and is quite rare.
Come See Us in Tysons!
Need help finding our office? Our Tysons dental office is conveniently located right off the grey line of the metro at the Tysons Corner stop. If you are traveling by car you can also get to us right off 495 Capital Beltway or Leesburg Pike. Our address is 8230 Boone Blvd., Suite 320 Vienna, VA 22182.