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The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. TMJ disorders can develop when the jaws are misaligned, or the muscles surrounding the joint become overly fatigued, inflamed, and ultimately damaged. This damage compromises movement of the jaw, and can cause chronic headaches, migraines, and other painful symptoms. Fortunately, Drs. Milan Simanek, Touraj Kamali, and Charles D. Kirksey offer advanced TMJ treatment at their Fairfax, VA, office to relieve symptoms and treat their causes. Our practice offers a range of bite splints to manage your symptoms, and to prevent teeth grinding (bruxism).
Your temporomandibular joints are located just in front of each ear. These joints are responsible for many functions, such as allowing you to talk, chew, yawn, and move your jaw. When the joints do not function properly, you can experience significant oral and overall health concerns. The causes of TMJ disorders are unknown, but the condition is very common. TMJ disorders affect the muscles that surround and move the jaw, the soft disc inside your TMJ, and the bones of the joint itself. Over time, prolonged stress on the jaw muscles and joints can result in headaches, migraines, chronic face and neck pain, dizziness, jaw clenching, teeth grinding, limited jaw movement, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and clicking or popping noises when moving your jaw.
If left untreated, symptoms can worsen and can begin to affect other areas of your life. Chronic headaches and other pains associated with TMJ disorder can lead to chronic stress, which can negatively affect the immune system. In addition, clinical depression and anxiety have been linked to TMJ disorders.
Bruxism is thought to be a leading cause of TMJ disorders. Individuals with bruxism regularly clench their jaw and grind their teeth. This action puts severe pressure on the muscles in the face and jaw. However, bruxism can also be caused by TMJ disorders. When the jaws are misaligned, this can place significant strain on the joints and muscles, leading to fatigue, inflammation, and irritation. Consistent pain often causes many patients to clench their jaw and grind their teeth in discomfort, whether they are aware of it or not.
Clenching and grinding your teeth can lead to serious, lasting oral health concerns. Teeth can become worn, which can lead to changes in your appearance, as well as further shifts in your bite that can aggravate TMJ disorders even further. Bruxism can also cause abfraction and notches in teeth to develop, as well as significant gum recession. In addition, the continual pressure from clenching teeth can lead to headaches, migraines, and other unwanted symptoms.
Our dentists use state-of-the-art technology to examine your bite and determine the root causes of your TMJ issues.
You do not need to continue living with the painful symptoms of TMJ disorders. Our dentists use state-of-the-art technology to examine your bite and determine the root causes of your TMJ issues. We can also supply bite and mouth splints that you can integrate into your daily life, or simply wear as you sleep. These splints can shift the jaws into proper alignment, relieving stress and pressure on the joints. Because our oral appliances fit over your teeth and are often custom fit to your exact specifications, they can prevent the painful issues of bruxism that are associated with TMJ disorders.
Although there is no specific cure for TMJ disorders, our treatments can dramatically soothe headaches, migraines, and other symptoms. Schedule an appointment with one of our highly-skilled dentists today. We look forward to helping you.