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TMJ Therapy for Rockville Residents

Rockville Dental Practice Offers TMJ Treatments

Man holding jaw

At the Rockville dental practice of Dr. Robert Sanker, patients can get relief from jaw joint dysfunction with TMJ treatments. TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joints, which control movement of the jaw. Your TMJ can be affected by a variety of disorders that cause oral and muscular difficulties. The TMJ is the “hinge” joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull’s temporal bone. Muscles both attach to and surround the joints, and these help you to chew, speak, and even yawn! If you live in and around Rockville, MD, and are plagued with odd clicking sounds, limited ability to open your mouth, or an uncomfortable bite, you may need TMJ therapy.

What is TMD?

Model of smile in adjustment tool

Temporomandibular disorders are called TMD, and cover a variety of issues that affect your jaw joints and muscles. There are several reasons you may have TMJ dysfunction:

  • Injury to the jaw, TMJ, or head and neck muscles
  • Grinding your teeth (bruxism)
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stress (causes you to tighten facial muscles or clench your teeth)
  • Poor sitting or standing posture
  • Irregular bite
  • Misalignment of lower or upper jaw
  • Sleeping poses
  • Missing teeth
  • Developmental delays
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Abnormal growths
  • Certain diseases such as Sjögren Syndrome

Most patients are usually aware if they’re experiencing TMD. However, you may be so used to jaw stiffness, morning headaches, or persistent neck pain, you haven’t considered the possibility of TMD treatment. Our Rockville dental practice offers TMJ therapy, which can alleviate your discomfort and correct the issues causing your TMD.

What are symptoms of TMD?

Man with headache holding bridge of his nose

You may need TMD treatments if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the face, jaw joints, neck, shoulders, or ears
  • Facial swelling
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking, popping, grating noises
  • Chewing problems
  • Sudden shifts in the bite
  • Earaches
  • Hearing problems
  • Toothaches
  • Teeth that are getting worn or cracked
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches (especially in the morning)
  • Tingling or numbing in arms and hands

How do you treat TMD?

Animation of skull and jawbone

At our Rockville dental practice, Dr. Sanker will give you a thorough assessment and discuss your TMD symptoms. It’s important to determine the primary cause of your TMJ disorder, so that Dr. Sanker can recommend the best TMJ therapy. TMD treatments include:

  • Orthodontics
  • Restorations
  • Missing teeth replacements
  • Occlusal equilibration
  • Appliance therapy
  • Surgery

Appliances Used for TMD Therapy

TMJ mouthguard

Conservatively treating TMD is also the best option, which is why Dr. Sanker usually recommends the use of a dental appliance to reduce stress on your jaw and allow the muscles to function probably. For bruxism, a condition where people grind their teeth during nightly rest, TMD therapy usually consists of a nightguard. A nightguard is an appliance worn during the night and it prevents a patient from grinding. Other appliances can help deflect interferences affecting the bite—or help reposition the joint properly.

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