Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Therapy

TMJ and TMD in VATMD is a jaw disorder that affects more than 10 million American’s. By causing the temporomandibular joint where the jaw and skull bone attach to become inflamed and irritated, TMD leaves patients feeling uncomfortable and with the inability to do things like open their mouth all the way and chew certain foods. Do you think that you have TMD? Read on to learn more or visit Marshall Dental in Fredericksburg, VA to begin treatment.

What are the main causes of TMD?

There isn’t one definitive cause of TMD but there are certain contributors that are linked to this disorder:

  • Bruxism: Bruxism or teeth grinding typically occurs when patients are sleeping or when they are in high anxiety situations. By placing additional pressure on the jaw, bruxism can result in TMD. Marshall Dental offers Traditional Bruxism Appliances which are custom appliance fabricated to be worn at night to prevent tooth wear and jaw pain.
  • Stress: Stress can cause patients to clench their jaw and apply undo pressure on it, ultimately leading to TMD.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis of the jaw can also lead to TMD due to extreme inflammation and pain associated with the jawbone.
  • Injury: If you were in some sort of sports or auto accident that impacted your jawbone, you may end up getting TMD.

What are common symptoms of TMD?

Symptoms associated with TMD include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A clicking sound when you open and close your mouth or move your jaw from side to side.
  • The inability to chew hard-to-chew foods like steak and taffy without feeling uncomfortable.
  • Headaches and earaches.
  • The locking of the jaw when you try to open and close your mouth.

How is TMD diagnosed?

Here at Marshall Dental, we know the importance of giving our patients the proper diagnosis needed in order to get necessary treatment. By conducting either a physical exam where one of our dentists will feel the jaw and neckline, TMD can be diagnosed. Additionally—and depending on the patients case—an x-ray examination might also be recommended at our Fredericksburg office.

Are TMD treatments painful?

Just like with any sort of medical treatment, the treatment of TMD will depend on the severity of the disorder, along with what steps you feel are necessary to make. Here at Marshall Dental, we offer patients multiple treatment options including:

Massage and Ice

As one of the first steps to recovering from TMD, we recommend that our patients try a combination of both jaw massage and icing. If patients don’t feel any sort of relief after practicing these habits for a couple of months, then there are other alternatives.

Traditional Bruxism Appliance

Because bruxism is a leading contributor to TMD, our dentists at Marshall Dental encourage patients to get a traditional bruxism appliance. These laboratory custom appliances are fabricated to be worn at night to prevent tooth wear and jaw pain.


If one of our dentists at Marshall Dental determines that the severity of your TMD is beyond basic care, you might be encouraged to undergo surgery. Luckily, we work with the area’s best oral surgeons and physical therapists in order to effectively treat Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome.

Want to read more about TMJ and TMD? Visit Marshall Dental’s blog!

To learn more about TMD or to schedule an appointment with Marshall Dental Center, contact our office today at (540) 373-2273.