Your lower jaw has ball and socket joints on either side to attach it to your skull, and these are called the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. Their function is to allow movement of the mouth when you need to speak or chew your food. The TMJs can also result in chronic jaw pain if they develop a TMJ disorder, which needs to be treated to relieve the discomfort.
The complex structure of the TMJs allows for easy development of a TMJ disorder in the event of an injury or other form of damage. Simple treatments for TMJ pain include applying an ice or heat pack to bring down any inflammation or swelling occurring in your jaw joints. More involved treatments may include biofeedback or taking up a relaxing hobby such as meditation, music therapy, or yoga to reduce your stress.
If your TMJ disorder is actually caused by bruxism, it may require further treatment since the habit of grinding your teeth at night can continue to damage the TMJs. Our dentist may determine that a custom night guard or a bite plate is ideal to hold the jaw in a stable position and reduce the pressure of bruxism.
Please feel free to contact one of our skilled dentists, Dr. Sumit Sharma and associates, by calling Virginia Dental Solutions at 703-437-8811 if you would like to learn more about treating TMJ disorder in Reston, Virginia.