Do you experience pain in your face, neck, or jaw or have trouble opening and closing your mouth comfortably?
Does constant clenching and grinding of your teeth result in pain and muscle tension?
These are problems that may be related to a disorder with your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. Your TMJ controls the up and down and side to side movement of your jaw. When it isn't functioning properly, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms such as:
- Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
- Muscle stiffness in the jaw and shoulders
- Limited range of motion of the TMJ
- Clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your jaw
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your jaw
Disorders of the TMJ can be difficult to diagnose, but for over 40 years, Dr. Barry Rudolph has been helping patients with the uncomfortable symptoms of TMJ. Very often, he can provide relief by using conservative treatment options available at our Vienna, VA dental office.
What Is a TMJ Disorder?
The TMJ is one of the most complicated joints in the human body. Its complex movement poses a challenge for both patients and healthcare providers when something goes wrong.
Disorders of the TMJ vary widely from person to person, and the exact cause of these problems is not known. While trauma to the jaw plays a part in some cases of TMJ, for the most part, scientists don’t know the cause. But Dr. Rudolph has had excellent success over the years with diagnosing the source of the disorder and providing effective, conservative solutions.
There is no widely accepted standard of care for treating TMJ disorders, so Dr. Rudolph must adapt treatment to each patient’s individual needs. In addition to learning about your medical and dental history, he will examine the areas giving you problems, including the jaw, head, neck, and face.
He will listen to the joint and perform range of motion and loading tests. Dr. Rudolph may also recommend digital imaging with our state-of-the-art cone beam technology, which gives him a three-dimensional view of the joint and surrounding area.
Depending on your needs, there are several ways we can approach TMJ treatment:
- Self-care practices – You may have certain habits like gum chewing that can contribute to painful TMJ symptoms, and Dr. Rudolph can explain movements you should avoid that can aggravate your symptoms. He may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, switching to softer foods, applying ice packs, and reducing stress with relaxation techniques.
- Nightguard – This is an effective treatment for patients who grind their teeth with a side-to-side or front-to-back movement. The guard fits over your upper teeth like a sports guard and prevents your teeth from coming together during sleep.
- NTI Device – While a night guard prevents grinding, it does not stop the clenching motion. In this case, Dr. Rudolph would recommend an NTI device. An NTI device is worn on either your upper or lower front teeth. As you start to clench your jaw, you bite down on the device, stopping the movement before it starts.
Please Contact Us for Relief!
If you are experiencing painful symptoms and need relief, please call Vienna TMJ dentist Dr. Barry Rudolph. His expertise in this area is well-known, and many area dentists who have trouble pinpointing the problem turn to him for resolution.
Please contact our office to arrange a convenient consultation so we can get you on the road to relief from TMJ pain!