Alexandria, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/01/2014 -- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, also known as the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury or malocclusion (bad bite) to the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint acts as the hinge between the jawbone and the skull.
Dr. Wanda Goldhush of Alexandria Old Town Dental knows that there are several risk factors for TMJ syndrome including poor posture, stress, other inflammatory disorders and malocclusion. What causes TMJ isn’t completely understood. Dr. Goldhush says, “I feel that some of the causes that contribute to the condition are teeth grinding, jaw clenching, misalignment of the teeth, arthritis and stress.”
The most obvious symptom is pain in the jaw joint, but there are many more symptoms that are just as unwelcome as the pain. These include popping or clicking of the jaw, ear pain, blurred vision, headaches and the jaw locking open, usually after yawning.
Dr. Goldhush diagnoses TMJ by reviewing medical history and doing a physical exam to find the cause of the symptoms and to rule out other medical issues. Unfortunately, there is no specific test to diagnose TMJ syndrome so the patient may have to try a couple of different treatments to see what works best for him or her. Many of the TMJ symptoms respond to home remedies such as ice or cold packs, eating soft foods, not chewing gum and gently massaging the jaw and neck muscles. Dr. Goldhush remarks, “If these home remedies don’t work you may need a bite guard, which prevents tooth grinding.” Dr. Goldhush’s treatments usually consist of absolutely no pills, no shots, no surgery and no adverse reactions.
The outlook for TMJ syndrome is quite good. There are numerous causes for TMJ syndrome, so the prognosis is dependent on the cause, if known. When medical treatments are needed, they are usually conservative and effective. In acute cases, where pain is chronic, or associated with other inflammatory disorders, long-term treatment may be necessary.
Dr. Goldhush's compassion for her patients and keen eye on keeping up with the latest dental technology is what patients and staff appreciate most about her. To make an appointment with Dr. Goldhush call (703) 549-1331.