Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the spot where your jaw connects to your skull to allow you to close and open your jaw easily. Sometimes the TMJ is injured or damaged, resulting in a painful condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder (TMD). If you are experiencing pain or hearing noises when you move your jaw, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kenneth Ingber and his experienced dental team to determine if you have TMD. At our practice, Ingber Dental in Washington, D.C., we use advanced equipment to examine and treat your TMD to ease the pain. Your TMJ therapy will be based on the cause of your TMD and your specific condition, but some options include oral appliances (mouth or night guards), bite modification, dental restorations, and more.
Temporomandibular joint disorder might be brought on by a single injury to the jaw, chronic grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw (bruxism), or a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion). Medical conditions that might lead to TMD include a tumor in the TMJ or arthritis. In some cases, the reason for TMD is uncertain, but if you are experiencing signs and symptoms, we can still diagnose and treat your jaw. The most common symptoms of TMD are pain or tenderness in the jaw, spasms in your facial muscles, feeling as if your jaw is stiff or stuck, and headaches that start near your ears. Another symptom is hearing popping, clicking, or cracking whenever you open your jaw.
What To Expect
To help diagnose a temporomandibular disorder, we will carefully listen and understand your concerns before performing a physical examination. During the exam, we will assess the movement of your jaw and start looking for indications of teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment. We will also feel the jawbone and surrounding area for any tenderness and inflammation. Additionally, we may order digital x-rays of your lower face or a bite analysis to look for underlying causes that could determine your treatment method. Based on the exam, we will go over your treatment options that could include a dental appliance, orthodontics, or restorations (crowns or bridges).
Along with procedures to fix the underlying cause of your temporomandibular joint disorder, a member of our team can recommend other means to ease pain and other symptoms at home. This includes a liquid or soft food diet, avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails, heat packs on your jaw, and relaxation techniques. We can also give you exercises to strengthen your jaw or prescribe medicine to relax your muscles (and to ease pain, anxiety, or inflammation).
Continue to attend follow-up visits so we can check the progress of your TMJ therapy. If your treatment is not helping, we may think about a different approach. Once your TMD has been treated, you should keep going to annual dental exams at Ingber Dental to maintain your oral health.
Dental insurance coverage for TMJ pain diagnosis and TMD remedies will vary so we will contact your carrier to calculate your out-of-pocket costs. Whether you have dental insurance or not, a member of our financial team will go over cost estimates when reviewing treatment options. To make all treatments affordable, Ingber Dental accepts many payment methods and we can help you find low-interest medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain makes it tough to chew, speak, and enjoy your day-to-day life. Since there are many possible causes, symptoms, and solutions for temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), schedule a consultation at our office in Washington, D.C. We will give you a thorough examination before your diagnosis and discussing treatment options. Contact the team at Ingber Dental to get more information and plan an appointment.