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TMJ Specialist

First Smile Dental

General Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Alexandria, VA

When you think of dental disorders, you probably think of conditions that have to do with the teeth or gums. However, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can also be quite debilitating. The team led by Keehong Kwon, DDS, and Erika Mogrovejo, DDS, at First Smile Dental in Alexandria, Virginia, has extensive experience correcting TMJ disorders. To learn more, call or go online today to schedule an appointment.

TMJ Q & A

What are temporomandibular joint disorders?

While it’s a mouthful to say, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a very important part of your oral health. It connects your jawbone to the base of your skull and allows your mouth to open and close. 

Ordinarily, this joint is incredibly strong and functions very reliably throughout your life. However, there are a range of conditions that can cause problems with the joint or the muscles in your face that help move the jaw. 

These conditions are collectively known as temporomandibular joint disorders. 

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

TMJ disorders are characterized by pain and discomfort in and around the area of the joint. In addition, other symptoms can arise, including:

  • Pain in your jaw, neck, ear, and shoulders
  • Pain when chewing, speaking, or opening your mouth
  • Facial swelling
  • Trouble chewing
  • Locked jaw
  • Popping, clicking, or grinding sounds when opening or closing your mouth
  • Problems opening your mouth wide
  • A tired feeling in your face
  • Toothache
  • Hearing problems
  • Dizziness

These symptoms can occur on both sides or just one side of your face and are more likely to occur in women than men. 

What causes TMJ disorders?

Unfortunately, it’s not known exactly what causes TMJ disorders. Issues can arise directly from the joint or with the surrounding muscles. 

Injury or trauma to the muscles of your face and neck or the temporomandibular joint itself can lead to symptoms developing. In addition, stress, jaw clenching, and arthritis can also play a role. 

How are TMJ disorders treated?

There are a number of different ways to treat TMJ disorders. Over-the-counter pain medication, cold and heat packs, stress reduction techniques, eating a soft diet, and other lifestyle adjustments can help. 

In addition, traditional treatments include prescription medications like muscle relaxers, mouthpieces, dental work to properly align your bite, and several other techniques can prove beneficial. The team at First Smile Dental has extensive experience diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders, helping you get the relief you need. 

To learn more about TMJ disorders, call or go online today to schedule your first appointment with the team at First Smile Dental.