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TMJ/TMD Therapy – Leesburg, VA

Find Relief from Chronic TMJ Pain

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your mandible to the rest of your skull. It is a unique part of your anatomy because it must be able to move up and down, side to side, and back and forth. It is connected to numerous facial muscles, all of which work together to help your TMJ operate. When something goes wrong that affects the TMJ’s function, this is a condition known as TMJ dysfunction or TMJ disorder (TMD). It is estimated that more than 10 million adults in the U.S. suffer from TMD.

Common symptoms of TMD include things like chronic jaw pain, difficulty chewing, a locking sensation in the jaw, frequent headaches, neckaches, earaches, and backaches. If you believe that you are suffering from TMD, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pham. After a careful evaluation, she may recommend one of the following treatments to get your TMJ’s health back on track.

Woman in need of TMJ/TMD therapy in Leesburg

Why Choose Downtown Family Dental of Leesburg for TMJ/TMD Therapy

Equilibration/Occlusal Adjustments

Analyzing bite as part of TMJ/TMD therapy in Leesburg

TMD often occurs due to poor occlusion. That is to say, your teeth do not fit together properly when your mouth is closed. This issue places extra stress on the TMJ and can lead to TMD symptoms. Often, the best way to address the problem is via equilibration, otherwise known as an occlusal adjustment. We take an impression of your teeth in order to analyze your bite. Then, Dr. Pham adjusts your restorations or natural teeth as necessary so they all function harmoniously together. If she must slightly alter one of your natural teeth, it is unlikely that she will have to remove more than a few millimeters of enamel.

Occlusal Splints

Hand holding occlusal splint that will provide TMD relief

An occlusal splint is a small oral appliance that is worn at night. The goal of an occlusal splint is to slightly reposition your jaw in order to help the TMJ and the surrounding muscles relax. It can also prevent the teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism) that often occurs at night and may be related to TMD. Dr. Pham carefully designs each occlusal splint to fit a patient’s unique needs. These devices are small, comfortable, portable, and easy to use.

TENS Therapy

Doctor holding machine for TENS therapy and electrodes

TENS is an acronym that stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Our TENS machine uses a low-voltage electrical current that is delivered to your nerves and muscles via little electrodes that we place at strategic locations on your skin. The electrical impulses may modify or block your perception of pain, thereby providing immediate TMD relief. It is an excellent way to begin TMJ therapy while Dr. Pham determines if you will require a longer-term solution. TENS therapy is not painful. However, you will feel some tingling in the areas around the electrodes — most patients actually enjoy the sensation! Each TENS session may last for 10 – 15 minutes.

Do you believe you are suffering from TMD? Finding relief from your chronic pain may be as simple as visiting our friendly, knowledgeable team. We are eager to help your entire smile function at its best!

TMJ Therapy FAQs

Woman with jaw pain

Do you struggle with jaw pain, headaches, earaches, or notice a clicking noise when you chew? You could have TMJ dysfunction. Fortunately, we may be able to help. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we are asked about TMJ therapy in Leesburg. If you don’t see the information that you’ve been looking for below, don’t worry. Give us a call and we’d be happy to explain more and schedule you for an appointment.

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Can TMD Be Cured Permanently?

Discomfort associated with TMJ dysfunction can sometimes subside on its own over time. However, if your symptoms are impacting your everyday life, you may want to consider seeing a professional. Some TMJ methods, like TENS therapy, can provide temporary relief. Occlusal splints are designed to address the jaw tension, misalignment, or other underlying causes of TMD, therefore providing relief.

Is TENS Treatment for TMJ Safe?

TENS therapy for TMJ disorder involves temporarily placing electrode pads on your jaw joints, neck, or other areas that are in pain. Low-voltage electric currents can encourage your jaw muscles to relax, which reduces stress on the TMJs while also causing your brain to produce endorphins to relieve pain. For most people, this treatment is perfectly safe. It is non-invasive and does not require needles or taking medication. While it is possible to purchase a TENS machine for home use, it is highly recommended that you see a professional for this kind of treatment.

How Long Does It Take for a TMJ Splint to Work?

Occlusal splints for TMD are usually worn to bed every night. You may notice that your symptoms begin to diminish quickly, but they won’t disappear all at once. It will take time for your TMJs and the surrounding areas to adjust. After six weeks, most patients experience marked improvement. It usually takes between three and six months for a splint to resolve TMD discomfort.

Can TMJ Be Treated Without Surgery?

Yes! The National Institutes of Health recommend using the most conservative methods possible for treating TMJ dysfunction. Surgery involves making permanent changes to the jaw and nearby anatomy, and it is typically only suggested as a last resort. More often than not TMD can be treated with less invasive methods.

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