Skip to main content

Do You Have TMJ Disorder? Don’t Ignore These Symptoms

Jaw Pain

TMJ is a common abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint, or the sliding joint that connects the jaw to the skull and allows you to chew, speak and yawn. Unfortunately, this joint also has a tendency to become inflamed, sore and painful. If you’ve ever suffered from TMJ disorder or dysfunction, you know how disruptive it can be to your everyday function and quality of life.

It’s believed that nearly 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ pain While some patients may have temporary flare-ups of TMJ discomfort, others can experience a progression of jaw joint irritation and painful symptoms that worsen without treatment intervention. What may start as a popping jaw when you open wide to yawn can lead to severe migraines, lock jaw and even tooth damage.

If you suspect that your TMJ is irritated or not functioning like it should, you may have TMJ disorder, or TMD. Watch out for the following symptoms and discuss them with your TMJ dentist as soon as possible:

  • Earaches (feeling of fullness that may mimic an ear infection)
  • Clicking and Popping Sounds (when yawning or chewing certain foods)
  • Locked Jaw (making it difficult or impossible to eat or speak at all)
  • Jaw Pain or Facial Pain
  • Shoulder and Neck Pain
  • Changes to Teeth (worn down teeth or chips, especially if bruxism exists)
  • Headaches or Migraines

Causes and Treatment of TMD

There are many different factors and conditions that can cause the TMJ to function improperly or become inflamed. Your treatment will be based on your specific culprit. For example, most cases of TMJ disorder can be traced back to teeth grinding or teeth clenching (bruxism). In such patients, a nightguard could eliminate the extra forces of bruxism on the jaw while you sleep and allow your TMJ to rest and heal. In other patients, orthodontic therapy may be warranted to correct a bite misalignment.

At Green Dental of Alexandria, we are committed to finding the cause of your painful jaw symptoms and offering an effective TMJ treatment plan. Don’t ignore a joint in your body that you must use every day. If you are having to modify what you eat or hold back a big yawn, it is time to see a qualified TMJ dentist for help.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria

Green Dental of Alexandria – Alexandria Dentist
1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 549-1725

Patient Reviews

Green Dental of Alexandria - Alexandria Dentist

4.8/ 5.0

Based on 179 reviews

Jennifer B.

I just had my first appointment at Green Dental and I couldn't be happier with their service. I tend to be nervous when going to the dentist, but all of the staff were very welcoming and nice. The exam chair massages your back as you're getting your cleaning and there's a television on the ceiling to distract you from dental work. The cleaning and evaluation was very gentle. Thanks, Green Dental!

Stephen J.

Top shelf dental care. Convenient location via METRO/King Street Station. Patient's dental chair features back massage capability along with TV viewing (CNN). Dr. Hye Park is very smooth. Dental experience beyond compare. I actually enjoy going to the dentist now.

Caryl M.

Once again, even the cleaning was uneventful. Love being able to look outside while I'm in the chair. Dr. Park has the most gentle & tiny hands ! Love this place and the staff.

Top Dentist Washingtonian 2019 - badgeTop Dentist Washingtonian 2023 - badgeBadge Alexandria Dentist Top Patient Rated 2024Advantage ProgIcons Gold Provider 2020American Academy Clear AlignersSMART Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique Certified DentistHye Y. Park, DMD Top Dentists 2019-2020