Your Dentist in Alexandria for TMJ
If you are suffering from consistent headaches or migraines, sleep disorders, or even back pain, it could have something to do with your mouth. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, may be the problem. Dr. Geren, Dr. Mady, Dr. Abbareddy, and Dr. Garlisi have the training and technology to provide TMJ treatment and correct what is often called “bad bite”.
The way your teeth come together (your bite) is technically called occlusion, and when there is a problem with your bite, it is referred to as malocclusion. Teeth should evenly and simultaneously touch when chewing food. An irregular bite causes undue stress on the jaw joints and muscles. This can lead to pain and soreness in the jaw joint—the TMJ. This is commonly called TMJ disorder, or simply TMD.
The symptoms vary greatly for malocclusion, making diagnosis difficult. If you’ve noticed that your teeth look worn down or that they don’t meet evenly when you bite down, you could have problems with your bite. Malocclusion can occur even in a mouth full of straight teeth and cause seemingly unrelated problems such as sleep disorders, back pain and migraines. If possible, treat the malocclusion before the symptoms fully develop to preserve the integrity of the teeth and to avoid severe pain. As with most disorders, TMJ treatment is most effective when TMD is caught early.
Dentists who treat malocclusion undergo extensive training with renowned experts to understand and fix this complex problem. One way to diagnose malocclusion is with a Tek-scan computer system, which literally shows our dentists what your teeth are doing when you bite. TMJ treatment includes correcting the bite to relieve the stress on the TMJ.
TMJ disorders (TMD) can be diagnosed by Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry. To start your TMJ treatment and to find find out more about how Dr. Geren, Dr. Mady, Dr. Abbareddy, or Dr. Garlisi can fix your bad bite, contact our Alexandria office today.
TMJ Treatment FAQ
Until my appointment with my doctor, what can I do to help with my TMJ?
You do not have to feel as if you have to “just live with TMJ.” One of the best things you can do before (and after) your appointment, is to eat soft foods and try to avoid food that requires biting with your front teeth, but instead chew with both sides of your mouth. Also, refrain from chewing gum entirely, and avoid opening your mouth wider than a couple of inches.
To relieve pain, apply a moist heat up to four times per day for 5 to 10 minutes. If the pain is very sharp, a cold compress tends to work better; apply up to four times per day for 5 to 10 minutes, as well.
Finally, you can gently massage the sore jaw joints using a rotating motion for few seconds. Then, open the mouth and hold for another few seconds to stretch the chewing muscles surrounding the joint. Repeat this massaging action periodically throughout your day.
Why does my jaw make a popping noise?
A popping noise from the jaw is one of the first signs of TMJ problems. In some patients, the noise will be very quiet while in other patients, the noise will be loud enough to hear several feet away. This popping noise occurs when the ligament between two bones dislocate and “pop” on or off the jawbone.