TMJ & TMD Treatment Specialist

Allure Dental Care of Maple Lawn

Cosmetic & General Dentistry located in Fulton, MD

Do the muscles in the sides of your jaw hurt, or click when you open and close your mouth? The talented team of dentists at Allure Dental Care of Maple Lawn in Fulton, Maryland, can determine if you have temporomandibular disorder or TMJ. Some studies estimate that the number of Americans that suffer from TMJ is as high as 10 million. Drs. Mahvash Zulfaghary and Zehra Asad can provide you with solutions to alleviate your discomfort. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

TMJ/TMD Treatment Q & A

What is the difference between TMD and TMJ?

Temporomandibular disorder, or TMD, refers to problems with your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, which connects your lower jaw to your face. TMD is frequently referred to as TMJ, though it’s technically a misnomer.

TMJ is built around a complex combination of sliding and hinge-like mechanisms that allow you to talk, chew, and yawn. If you put your fingers slightly in front of your ears and open your mouth, you should be able to feel the joints at work.

What are the symptoms of TMD?

TMD generally causes pain in your TMJ and the areas around your face and jaw. It can affect either one or both sides of your face. If you have TMD, you might experience:

  • pain or swelling in or around your face, jaw joints, ears, neck, or shoulders
  • a clicking, popping, or grating sound or sensation when you open or close your mouth
  • the inability to open your mouth wide, or discomfort when you do
  • a locking jaw, either while opening or closing your mouth
  • an awkward bite, as if your upper and lower jaws are misaligned

What are the causes of TMD?

It’s unclear what exactly causes TMD, but it’s believed to be tied to problems with the joint itself or the muscles of your jaw. Some common causes include:

  • direct injury to the joint, the jaw, or the muscles in your head and neck
  • arthritis in the joint
  • grinding or clenching your teeth
  • irregular movement of the disc between the joint’s ball and socket

How is TMD treated?

Dr. Zulfaghary and Dr. Asad will determine whether or not you have TMD by examining your jaw and your bite. In some cases, they might take x-rays, MRI, or CT scans in order to get a more detailed look at what the problem in the joint might be.

If your TMD is mild, they might recommend a number of home remedies, such as:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, to reduce swelling and pain
  • Moist heat or cold packs applied to the side of your face
  • Keeping your teeth slightly apart as often as you can to relieve pressure on your jaw

For moderate TMD, they might recommend:

  • muscle relaxers, a higher dose of NSAIDs, or anti-anxiety medication to reduce stress-related jaw clenching
  • a splint or night guard to reduce the effects of teeth grinding
  • dental work, to replace any missing teeth that might be throwing your bite off balance

If your TMD is more severe, they might refer you to an orthodontist or an oral surgeon, who can perform a number of more advanced surgeries to reduce the effects.

Don’t let TMD affect your well-being for any longer. Call or book an appointment online today and let the team at Allure Dental Care of Maple Lawn relieve you of your pain.