Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Specialist in Rockville, MD
At Potomac Woods Family Dental Care, our specialists can help you find relief from TMJ. Visit us and get treated for your chronic pain. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online! We are conveniently located at 350 Fortune Terrace #101, Rockville, MD 20854.
Table of Contents:
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint that connects the jaw to the skull in both the upper and lower jaw. This joint supports the mandible (lower jaw), allowing it to move up and down and enabling actions like chewing, talking, and singing. It is one of the most complex joints in the human body, and consequently, it can experience different kinds of dysfunction. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), also called temporomandibular dysfunction, is a common condition that can involve complicated symptoms, including pain, clicking, popping, or other similar sounds. TMD is a condition that occurs when the temporomandibular joint is inflamed or damaged, which may be caused by a number of different problems.
The temporomandibular joint is incredibly complex and has numerous interworking parts that enable it with its many different functions and various movements. Because of this intricacy, a number of different parts of this joint can be affected, and therefore a range of problems can lead to dysfunction or disorder of the TMJ. This can include any of the following:
– Teeth Grinding or Clenching — Many people believe that stress is the main cause of TMJ disorder, but this is only part of the truth; stress itself does not cause pain in the temporomandibular joints, but stress can lead to tension, including clenching and grinding teeth, which can cause TMJ disorder and pain.
– Joint Injury — An injury to the joint or jaw is another common cause of TMJ disorder; even if the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joints are injured, it can lead to pain.
– Arthritis — Just like joints elsewhere in the body, the temporomandibular joints can be affected by arthritis, including both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Because arthritis is a degenerative condition, the symptoms are not expected to improve or reverse on their own without medical intervention.
– Imbalance of the Spine — There is no part of the body that works in isolation, and this is true of the TMJ; jaw muscles work with the neck muscles, and the neck connects to the shoulders and spine. When one of these is off-balance, the entire system becomes off-balance—teeth, bite, temporomandibular joints, neck, and spine muscles are all related. By correcting any imbalances, TMJ disorder can make a propitious recovery.
The following symptoms characterize TMJ disorder:
– Clicking and popping sounds
– Locked jaw
– Jaw pain
– Facial pain
– Shoulder and neck pain
– Changes to teeth, such as misalignment
TMJ disorder is a dental problem and is commonly treated by dentists, as they are highly skilled in jaw anatomy and dysfunction affecting this joint.
Yes, TMJ disorder can happen suddenly and occur with a rapid onset. While the most common causes of TMJ pain develop slowly over time, like arthritis, poor posture, stress, teeth grinding, and clenching, it can also occur very suddenly, such as from an injury or surgery. In addition to this, there are severe health conditions that can cause sudden pain in the jaw, such as gum disease, and must be treated separately from TMJ problems.
It is also important to note that certain actions or movements can trigger the TMJ, causing it to flare up and lead to symptoms such as pain, cracking/popping sounds, and difficulty opening or closing the jaw.
If you are experiencing problems with your TMJ, trust the dentists at Potomac Woods Family Dental Care to help alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. Call us today or book an appointment with our temporomandibular joint (TMJ) specialist, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 350 Fortune Terrace, #101, Rockville, MD 20854. We serve patients from Rockville MD, Potomac MD, Bethesda MD, North Bethesda MD, North Potomac MD, Gaithersburg MD, and Derwood MD. We look forward to serving you!
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