TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of disorders that affect your complex jaw joint. If you have ever experienced symptoms such as pain or a “clicking” sound when you close or open your mouth, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated now than they were in the past. It is important to detect and treat TMJ disorders since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions.

No one treatment can resolve a TMJ disorder completely and treatment typically takes some time to be effective. At Loudoun Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we can help you achieve a healthier and more comfortable jaw.

Trouble with Your Jaw?

TMJ disorders can develop for many reasons. You might grind or clench your teeth, which tightens your jaw muscles and stresses the TMJ. On the other hand, your jaw joint may have been damaged jaw due to injury or disease. Whatever the cause, the results of TMJ disorders may include pain, a misaligned bite, grating or clicking noises when you open your mouth, and/or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, catch, grate, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken, or worn?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?

The more times you answered “yes” to these questions, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. At Loudoun Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we know that understanding the cause of TMJ disorders will also help us understand how best to treat them.

Treatment

There are various treatment options available that we can utilize to improve the function and harmony of your jaw. Once a proper evaluation confirms TMJ disorder, Dr. Bluhm, Dr. Dorsch, or Dr. Vandervort can determine the proper course of treatment. Throughout your treatment, remember that the best results will come from practicing both effective self-care and receiving professional care.