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Eliminate Head, Neck, Face & Jaw Pain with TMJ Therapy

Woman holding jaw in pain

People with TMJ problems regularly experience a stiff, painful jaw that clicks and pops all the time, and many also suffer from chronic migraines. Do either of these sound familiar to you? If so, you may be relieved to know that you can get the treatment you need right here at Fairfax Dental Esthetics. 

Diagnosis & Treatment of TMJ

X-rays of skull and jawbone

The TMJ actually refers to the joints on your lower jaw that connects it to your head, and it can be subject to problems caused by a wide variety of factors, including stress, injury, arthritis, or a slight misalignment of the bite. All of these can cause the joint to wear down or muscle tension that can easily spread to other areas of the body (which is why the TMJ is often the hidden source of migraines). Using a variety of tests and scans, Dr. Berrada will be able to discover the source of your pain so she can recommend the appropriate treatment.

Equilibration & Occlusal Adjustments

Model of skull and jawbone

When the bite is even slightly misaligned, this can cause the TMJ to make small adjustments whenever you open and close your mouth, and this can put a lot of stress on the joint and the surrounding muscles. To correct this, Dr. Berrada can perform what is called and equilibration/occlusal adjustment. With this, she'll slightly reshape just a few teeth so they come together smoothly and allow the jaw to relax. She usually only needs to remove a few millimeters of enamel to accomplish this, so the appearance of the smile is not affected at all. If anything, it is usually improved!

Occlusal Splints

Custom occlusal splint

An occlusal splint is a type of therapeutic mouthpiece we can prescribe a TMJ patient to wear, and it will gently shift the jaw into a more relaxed and natural position so the joint and muscles can begin to heal themselves. A patient will only need to wear it to bed, and after a few months of consistent use, most a patients are able to stop wearing the splint altogether. However, others will need to continue to in order to keep seeing results.

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