Our Richmond, VA, orthodontist certainly understands what a headache TMJ (aka TMD) can be – literally! Over 10 million Americans are estimated to suffer from headache pain, facial pain, and jaw pain as a result of TMJ. If you are one of the many who are forced to experience discomfort on a frequent basis because of TMJ, then our orthodontist has great news for you: help is available at our Richmond orthodontic office!
What Is TMJ or TMD? Our Richmond, VA, Orthodontist Explains
The acronyms TMJ and TMD both stand for the same condition – temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders. The temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to the bone on the side of your head. This flexible joint is what allows you to open and close your mouth.
Unfortunately, when a problem arises with this joint, the subsequent discomfort won’t limit itself to the joint alone. Instead, pain can radiate out, causing muscle pain, headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, and other unpleasant symptoms. TMJ is what we call these symptoms, which can stem from a variety of potential underlying causes.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ symptoms can appear on and off for brief periods of time, or they can be a persistent, chronic problem. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms when they suffer from TMJ, but the following are common complaints that our Richmond orthodontist hears from our patients:
- Pain radiating through the face, jaw, or neck
- Stiff jaw muscles
- Limited jaw movement, sometimes called “lockjaw”
- Pops or clicks in the jaw joint
- Changes in how your upper and lower teeth fit together
How Can Our Richmond, VA, Orthodontist Help with TMJ Treatment?
The first step toward reducing your TMJ pain is to identify its underlying cause. If your TMJ is a result of a misaligned bite, then our Richmond, VA, orthodontist, Dr. Paul White, may be able to reduce or even eliminate your painful symptoms with orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign. This noninvasive approach to treating TMJ or TMD pain is far more conservative than the jaw surgery suggested by some doctors, and it should be the first approach to resolving TMJ.
To find out if Dr. White can stop your TMJ with orthodontic care, the first step is to identify if there is a problem with your bite or not. Our orthodontic office in Richmond, VA, can use our bite simulator to help determine your jaw’s ideal alignment. Even if your teeth are straight, your upper and lower jaw may not align properly. Our bite simulator will be able to show you whether this is the case.
To take the first step toward stopping your TMJ pain, we invite you to schedule a FREE exam and consultation with our 5-star-rated Richmond, VA, orthodontist. Say goodbye to headaches and facial pain and say hello to your healthiest smile with White Orthodontics. Click here or call 804.715.1998 to set up your free appointment today. We look forward to meeting you!