What is TMJ?

Often simply called the TMJ, the temporomandibular joint connects your mandible (lower jaw) to the rest of your skull. The TMJ is located just under your ear on each side of your face. TMD, or temporomandibular dysfunction, occurs when this joint becomes damaged or stressed. This disorder may be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), arthritis in the jaw joint, trauma, or misalignment in the joint.

What are the signs of TMJ?

You may suffer from TMD if you experience the following symptoms:

  • A feeling of tightness on the side of your face when you wake up in the morning
  • A locked or stuck jaw
  • Clicking, grinding, or popping sounds in the TMJ when you open and close your mouth
  • Frequent jaw pain
  • Chronic tension headaches or migraines
  • Pain in the face, ears, neck, or shoulders
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Pain when chewing
  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide to speak, eat, or yawn

If you notice these signs, we encourage you to contact Rai Family Dentistry for a TMJ evaluation.

What is TMJ therapy?

Our dentist is pleased to provide non-surgical therapy for the TMJ in Stafford, Virginia. Based on the cause of your condition, Dr. Shivaprasanna Rai may recommend muscle relaxation exercises, lifestyle changes, restorative dental treatments, a bite guard (to treat bruxism or correct the alignment of the jaw), or stress relief methods. To learn more about non-surgical TMJ therapy, we invite you to call or visit our office today!