Has nighttime tooth grinding worn down your teeth? Does your jaw sometimes “lock” or do you find yourself clenching your jaw? If you also suffer from chronic headaches, migraines, or facial pain (also called myofacial pain), these are just a few of the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD), a misalignment in the hinge joint that connects your lower jaw to the bone just in front of your ears.
TMD may cause chronic headaches, swelling, problems chewing, or just feeling tired in your face. Because it can be hard to pinpoint the source of the pain, or even to know whether your symptoms are all related, you might think you just have to live with it. But nothing could be further from the truth. Therapies for treating TMD in Alexandria have been refined over the years, and there are several treatment modes we use to correct your bite and relieve your pain.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the TMJ Association, LTD both suggest that “Less is Best” when treating TMD. In our dental office in Alexandria, Dr. John Kling uses the most conservative and gentle therapies to help relieve your TMJ pain and tension. He uses state-of-the-art technology to assess whether your bite is misaligned and to what extent. He even uses Doppler technology to record the sounds in your jaw!
First, Dr. John Kling will generally create a custom acrylic appliance for your mouth that will gently help reposition your jaw. He may also recommend recontouring your teeth or other dental restorations to rebalance your bite. If tension from stress is a significant part of your TMD, we will recommend a light touch therapy called craniosacral therapy to help release the physical tension throughout your body.
Remember, there’s no reason to live with pain and muscle tension that takes energy and pleasure away from everyday experiences. Call our Alexandria dental office at 703-299-8444 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kling for a TMD evaluation.