TMJ and TMD Treatment in Burke VA and Chevy Chase MD

Let us help you deal with your daily jaw pain.

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.

The most persistently used joint in the body, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is responsible for the movement of the lower jaw (mandible). Without this joint, which connects the lower jaw with the skull, we would not be able to open our mouths to eat, chew, breathe, or talk.

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TMJ and TMD can have some dibilitating effects.

What are the symptoms of TMJ and TMD?

TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is characterized by pain and aching in the jaw, persistent clicking, limited range of motion and sometimes headaches or earaches. If you have any of these symptoms of TMD, it’s important to consult an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, as we specialize in treating problems with the facial bones, in particular the jaw. TMJ disorders may be mild to severe, short or long term.

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.

When it comes to treatment, sometimes less is more.

We will help you find the least invasive treatment.

Most (roughly 90%) of TMJ disorders involve only the muscles of the mouth and face and not the actual TMJ. These disorders require no surgical treatment and can most often be managed through the following:

  • Night Guards and Splints – More recent research reveals that splints and night guards are not as helpful as once believed for the treatment of TMD.  However, if you clench or grind your teeth, splints or guards are invaluable resources to protect your teeth from damage while clenching or grinding.
  • Physical Therapy – As with other joints in your body, strengthening the area and improving Range of Motion (ROM) are crucial in the treatment in TMJ disorders.
  • Home Care
  • Soft Foods
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (Naproxen or Ibuprofen)
  • Stress Management
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Surgical Treatment

Only 10% or less of TMD disorders require surgical intervention.  These disorders typically involve the Temporomandibular Joint itself and not merely the muscles of the jaw and face. When there is displacement of the TMJ disc, damage to the disc, or significant inflammation in the joint then surgical procedures are indicated. Dr. Ghannam prefers Minimally Invasive TMJ Surgery whenever possible.