Posts for tag: TMJ
TMJ is a common disorder that affects the alignment of the jaw and the cushioned disc that rests between it. It can be caused by a head injury, arthritis, or genetics. TMJ is short for "temporomandibular joint," which is the area that is affected by misalignment. Dr. Ralph Mazzuca, your dentist in Washington DC, diagnoses and treats many patients with TMJ; read below to learn of the common symptoms and give Dr. Mazzuca a call if you are at all concerned!
An aching jaw that is tender to the touch is a common sign of TMJ. The pain, typically caused by inflammation, doesn't necessarily have to come directly from your jaw—it may radiate to your head, neck, shoulders, or ears. Although TMJ pain can often be relieved temporarily with analgesic medication, your Washington DC dentist's goal is to help you manage your TMJ diagnosis long-term.
Noises and Pops
It can be disconcerting to feel and hear your jaw align itself back into place. For TMJ sufferers, this is a common occurrence when they chew, talk, or yawn. Our Washington DC patients describe the feeling as creaking, shifting, or grinding; sometimes a popping or clicking sound accompanies it. Any noise or sensation in your jaw joint that persists over a few days warrants a visit to Dr. Mazzuca for an examination.
Along with the pain and uncomfortable sensations associated with TMJ, your jaw may also not work as efficiently as it should. Chewing and talking can be a challenge, and opening your mouth all the way to yawn, brush your teeth, or take a bite of food may be impossible. For some unlucky TMJ sufferers, their condition may be so severe that the jaw gets stuck in an open or closed position.
Think you might be dealing with TMJ? It's time to contact Dr. Ralph Mazzuca, your dentist in Washington DC to schedule an evaluation: (202) 537-1088.
Sometimes temporary and occasional jaw pain may just be the result of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw during sleep, which is not uncommon during times of stress or a bad dream. But chronic (long-term) or recurring jaw pain can also be a sign of oral health problems like tooth decay or gum disease, or temporomandibular disorder (TMD), which results from an injury or damage to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Dr. Ralph Mazzuca, a dentist in Washington, D.C., offers diagnostic and treatment options to treat and offer relief from TMJ symptoms.
TMJ Diagnosis and Treatment in Washington, D.C.
The temporomandibular joint connects the upper and lower jaw to the skull and plays an important role in the mechanical movements that allow you to chew and open and close your mouth. A problem with the joint can cause pain, stiffness, and even cause the law to "lock" in the open or closed position in more severe cases. The most common symptoms of TMJ/TMD are:
- Pain and/or tenderness around the jaw or joint
- Headache/facial/ear aches and pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Clicking or locking when opening or closing the mouth
Identifying a direct cause for TMJ/TMD can be difficult, but there are a few factors that can increase the risk of developing symptoms:
- Direct damage to the joint or jaw caused by direct trauma or injury
- Injuries or disorders that affect the cartilage or soft tissue in the joint
- Mechanical damage to the joint from prolonged teeth grinding or clenching
You may experience TMD in one or both joints, and the treatment options for TMJ vary depending on the severity of joint damage and your symptoms. In some cases, mild forms of TMJ may clear up on their own or respond to conservative treatment with over the counter pain relievers or prescription medication. Dentists also prescribe physical therapy, oral appliances or lifestyle changes and modifications to help ease jaw pain. In cases of extreme joint damage or if conservative treatments fail, surgery is sometimes used to repair severe damage to the joint.
Find a Dentist in Washington, D.C.
Don't wait to find relief from jaw pain and discomfort. For more information on the diagnostic and treatment options available for your TMJ symptoms, contact our office by calling (202) 537-1088 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mazzuca today.
For gum chewers, the risk of a mouth full of cavities and tooth decay is trailed by the vague risk of some jaw locking, dental bogeyman called TMJ. Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) is a very real condition that can cause jaw pain, and problems with proper movement and function of the jaw. From the office of Dr. Ralph Mazzuca, your family dentist in Washington, DC, here is more information on this condition.
Common Causes of TMJ
Gum chewing is only one of several risk factors associated with developing TMJ. Jaw pain and discomfort often result from a combination of factors, from arthritis, to jaw injuries and trauma. Your Washington, D.C. family dentist treats patients for simple and complex cases of temporomandibular joint syndrome caused by a number of conditions, including:
- Disk erosion and misalignment
- Arthritis related cartilage deterioration
- Joint damage resulting from forceful impact or trauma
- Joint dislocation
Lifestyle factors that can also affect joint alignment and cause pain and TMJ include:
- Grinding the teeth
- Stress and anxiety
- Poor posture
- Chewing gum
Symptoms of TMJ
- Jaw pain and tenderness
- Aches and pains around the ear
- Trouble with and discomfort while chewing
- Facial aches and pains
- Joint "locking" that prevents proper opening and closing of the mouth
- "Clicking" and "popping" sound when opening the mouth
- Tooth pain and sensitivity
Anyone can develop TMJ, but it is most common among young women between the ages of 20 and 40.
Dr. Mazzuca offers several treatment options at his family dental practice, depending on the cause and severity of the condition. TMJ is generally treated with muscle relaxers, pain relievers like aspirin and nighttime mouth guards. Severe cases of the condition that are caused by joint deterioration or deformities to the jaw bone may require dental surgery.
Contact a Family Dentist in Washington, DC
To learn more about TMJ symptoms and treatment options, contact Dr. Ralph Mazzuca at (202) 537-1088 to schedule an appointment today.