Our Services / TMJ Therapy

TMJ Therapy in Alexandria, VA

If you regularly experience jaw pain, headaches, or difficulty biting and chewing, consider TMJ therapy. Using custom oral appliances, it’s possible to ease pressure on your jaw and improve your quality of life. At King Centre Dental, C. Benson Clark, DDS, FAAID, DABOI/ID, and the team specialize in TMJ therapy. After a comprehensive consultation, they can develop a custom treatment plan to help you feel better. To make an appointment at the practice in Alexandria, Virginia, call the office today or schedule online.

What is TMJ therapy?

TMJ therapy refers to a group of procedures that treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. 

A TMJ disorder is a painful condition that irritates the joints that connect your jaw to your skull. Researchers aren’t sure what causes TMJ disorders, but several factors may contribute, including genetics, previous oral trauma, or an underlying medical condition like arthritis.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw pain and tenderness
  • Pain in or around the ears
  • Aching facial pain
  • Difficulty biting or chewing
  • A jaw joint that locks

As TMJ disorders progress, you might also hear popping or clicking noises whenever you open your mouth to eat or speak.

When should I see a dentist about TMJ therapy?

Almost everyone experiences jaw pain on occasion, but if your symptoms last for more than a week or they prevent you from opening or closing your mouth completely, make an appointment at King Centre Dental. Following a comprehensive exam and series of oral X-rays, your provider can determine the underlying cause and make recommendations for treatment.

How are TMJ disorders diagnosed?

To diagnose a TMJ disorder, your King Centre Dental provider conducts an oral exam and asks about your symptoms, including their severity, when they started, and if any activities like biting or chewing make them worse. 

Next, your provider gently presses on your jaw to pinpoint areas of tenderness or warmth. Then, they take a series of oral X-rays to assess the position of your jaw. 

What does TMJ therapy involve?

No two TMJ therapy treatment plans are exactly alike. After determining the source and severity of your symptoms, your King Centre Dental provider might recommend:

  • Icing your jaw
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription muscle relaxants
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Orthodontics
  • Stress management

You might also benefit from a custom night guard. A night guard is an oral appliance that reduces pressure on your jaw. This type of TMJ therapy is particularly beneficial if you have a tendency to clench your jaw or grind your teeth.

To participate in TMJ therapy, make an appointment at King Centre Dental by calling the office today or scheduling online. 

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