TMJ Specialist

CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center

Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Pain Management located in Lanham, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Dundalk & Pikesville, MD

Pain on either side of your head in front of your ears may be due to a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. The expert team at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center treat TMJ pain at their offices in Olney, Rosedale, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Lanham, Dundalk, and Pikesville, Maryland. To find relief from TMJ pain if you’re in Maryland or the Washington, D.C. area, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.

TMJ Q & A

What is a TMJ disorder?

The temporomandibular joint is located where your jawbone meets your skull on either side of your head. This joint allows you to chew, speak, and open your mouth to yawn. Pain in one or both of these joints is a TMJ disorder, sometimes called TMD.

In addition to pain, signs and symptoms of a TMJ disorder may include:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Tenderness in the jaw
  • Jaw locking
  • Headache
  • Earaches
  • Facial pain
  • Uneven bite

You may also experience other signs of a TMJ disorder, such as a clicking sound or grating sensation when you chew or open your mouth.

What causes TMJ disorders?

The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in your body. It combines a hinge action with sliding motions to help you speak and chew. Cartilage covers the ends of the bones while a small, shock-absorbing disc that separates the bones to maintain smooth movement.

The intricate nature and heavy use of this joint leaves the TMJ susceptible to many types of damage, including:

  • Cartilage damage from arthritis
  • Misaligned or worn down disc
  • Acute trauma such as a blow to the head
  • Overuse due to jaw clenching or teeth grinding

In some cases, there’s no obvious cause of a TMJ disorder. Many people who suffer from TMJ find relief with home treatment, such as self-massage and relaxation techniques to reduce muscle tension.

If your TMJ pain persists despite home care, the team at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center can help.

How is TMJ disorder diagnosed and treated?

You may receive a TMJ disorder diagnosis from another health care provider, such as your primary physician or dentist.

To understand the scope of your TMJ disorder, your physician at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center performs a thorough physical exam and reviews your medical history. If necessary, they may take an X-ray or MRI of your jaw area. Then, they recommend the best treatment for your particular condition.

Depending on the severity of your TMJ disorder, treatment may include:

  • Oral medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Botox® injections
  • Corrective dental treatment
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Severe cases of TMJ that don’t improve with treatment may require surgery.

To find relief from TMJ pain, call CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center or schedule an appointment online today.