TMJ Therapy

Deidra Kokel, DDS

Dentists located in Leesburg, VA

Properly functioning temporomandibular joints (TMJ) make speaking, chewing, and swallowing easy. When these joints malfunction, your quality of life can dramatically decrease. Josef Wollmann, DDS in Leesburg, Virginia, has extensive training in TMJ therapy. She helps men, women, and children experience lasting relief from chronic TMJ symptoms like facial pain. To get help for yourself or a family member struggling with a TMJ disorder, call or schedule an appointment online today.

TMJ Therapy Q & A

Deidra Kokel, DDS

What are the signs of a TMJ disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull and works similarly to the hinge of a door, allowing your jaw to open and close. Problems with your TMJ can cause pain throughout your face and make opening and closing your mouth difficult. Signs of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the jaw
  • Aching facial or neck pain
  • Frequent headaches or migraines
  • Ear pain
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth
  • Change in the alignment of the upper and lower teeth

You may experience these symptoms on one or both sides of your face.

How is TMJ diagnosed?

Dr. Wollmann begins the diagnostic process for TMJ disorders by asking about your symptoms, testing the sensitive areas of your face, and observing how you open and close your mouth. She may also take X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan to get a closer look at the alignment and structure of your jaw.

What causes TMJ disorders?

The exact cause of TMJ disorders is unknown, but several known risk factors affect the joint or surrounding muscles in your jaw. Other factors that commonly contribute to TMJ disorders include:

  • Tooth grinding (bruxism)
  • Jay trauma
  • Arthritis
  • Stress

When you visit Dr. Wollmann, she determines the cause of your TMJ and then creates a personalized treatment plan for you.

What therapies are available for TMJ disorders?

The duration of most TMJ disorders is a few months, and you can likely manage this condition through the combination of at-home therapies and lifestyle changes that Dr. Wollmann recommends.

If your TMJ is the result of tooth grinding, Dr. Wollmann may prescribe an occlusal guard, or night guard, which fits over your upper or lower teeth to prevent them from making direct contact with each other.

Dr. Wollmann helps you manage TMJ pain and reduce the strain you put on your jaw by teaching you gentle, at-home exercises and relaxation techniques to relieve pain and tension. She guides you on how to avoid behaviors that contribute to TMJ pain, such as nail biting and leaning on your chin.

If you or a loved one is experiencing jaw pain or finds chewing food and speaking difficult, call or schedule an appointment online to get relief.