tmj-imageWhat is TMJ?

TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorders, also know as TMD or just TMJ, affect a fairly large percentage of the population. The most common symptoms of TMD are clicking or popping of the jaw, grinding of teeth, frequent headaches, neckaches and backaches, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus.) In some cases, TMD may not have any symptoms at all, but the signs of TMD will still be present. These signs include limited mouth opening, a deviation of the jaw to one side when opening, or worn down teeth.


How is TMJ diagnosed?

The reason diagnosis of TMD is critical is that TMD has been called the “great imposter.” The symptoms can mimic so many other diseases that sorting out the true cause can be difficult. Often, TMD is only diagnosed after the patient has been through numerous medical tests to rule out serious disorders such as brain tumors, neurological disorders, and psychological disorders. Sadly, when the doctors can’t come up with a diagnosis, the patient is often told, “it’s all in your head.”

On the other hand, some patients who have all the symptoms of TMD are suffering from some other structural imbalance, often in the neck or the back, which makes accurately diagnosing TMD absolutely critical. That’s where Fairlington Dental comes in!


staffHow can Fairlington Dental help?

At Fairlington Dental, diagnosis includes MRI studies of the jaw joint, Tomographic x-rays, and autonomic nerve tests. The most common finding is a slipped disk in one or both jaw joints, and most of the time the patient was not aware of this condition. A proper medical history can often pinpoint the cause or incident when the condition first occurred.

Treatment is custom tailored to each individual, and often involves two appliances: one worn during the day and a separate one worn at night. Average treatment time is three to six months and requires the patient to return to our office approximately every four weeks for adjustments. We work closely with referring dentists, as well as chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, massage therapists, and physical therapists to obtain optimum results for every patient!


To learn how we can help alleviate your jaw pain, please call us at
(703) 671-1001 or request an appointment online by clicking here: Request Appointment