TMJ - Oral Appliances in

For a variety of reason your temporomandibular joint - frequently called TMJ - may cause you pain. When this occurs it is referred to as TMJ disorder or dysfunction. You may have seen or heard this referred to as TMD.

TMJ - Oral Appliances

What exactly is my TMJ?

Your temporomandibular joint is where the part of your skull called the temporal bone meets your mandible. This is the lower jawbone that holds all your bottom teeth in place. Your TMJ allows you to move your jaw side to side as well as up and down.

Why is my TMJ causing me pain?

There are many different theories as to why your TMJ may be causing you pain. Genetics, arthritis, stress, and injuries are some of the contributing factors that can cause problems with your TMJ and result in TMD.

  • Genetics

    Some people may be predisposed to TMD. Though both men and women are diagnosed as having TMD, it has been found to be diagnosed more frequently in women than men. Your bone structure and joints may also be contributing factors to TMD.

  • Arthritis

    Over time, the inside of your temporomandibular joint may experience some wear. This might be due to the type of arthritis called osteoarthritis. Usually, this kind of arthritis affects older individuals more than younger ones. Other types of arthritic inflammation in your TMJ may be due to gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Stress

    Straining and tightening your jaw and facial muscles can put pressure on your TMJ and cause TMD. You may be unconsciously holding stress in your jaw and face that can also lead to teeth clenching or grinding.

  • Clenching or Grinding

    Some people clench or grind their teeth throughout the day. It can become such a habit that it might go virtually unnoticed. You may even be clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep without knowing it.

  • Injuries

    A dislocation of the jaw can result in TMD. Some studies claim other traumas - like a sudden blow - may cause TMD as well. This would involve some sort of displacement or stress that results in TMD symptoms.

How can I relieve the pain caused by TMD?

Luckily, today there are many different options for treating all kinds of TMD. There are plenty of noninvasive and very advanced options to help manage or eliminate your pain associated with TMD.

  • Diet

    Switching to a diet of soft foods may alleviate some pain you are experiencing associated with TMD.

  • Hot/Cold Treatments

    Depending on your situation and pain level, the dentist may recommend a hot/cold treatment routine to reduce pain.

  • Medication

    There are over the counter and prescription medications that the dentist may suggest you use to take care of your discomfort.

  • Stress Reduction

    Massages, meditation, and stress reduction therapy may decrease the amount of pressure that is being placed on your TMJ and alleviate some pain.

  • Physical Therapy

    Certain exercises may reduce your issues with your TMJ. It is important to consult a licensed professional before starting any therapy regime.

  • Night Guard

    A night guard is worn on your upper and lower teeth to prevent them from touching. This can reduce the negative effects of clenching or grinding at night. If need be, you might be recommended to wear a dental guard during the day.

  • Dental Work

    If missing, impaired, or misaligned teeth are causing uneven stress and pain the dentist or specialist may be able to use crowns, partial dentures, or braces to reduce the stress and pain. Placement of implants or other oral surgical procedures may also be done to relieve your discomfort.

Greenbelt Dental Associates works closely with medical professionals in Greenbelt, Beltsville, Lanham, Riverdale, Hyattsville, Glenn Dale, and surrounding areas who specialize in TMD to deliver you the best treatments possible.

How can I relieve the pain caused by TMD?

As soon as you feel pain or experience issues that you think may be associated with TMD, you should make an appointment with a dentist.

These pains and issues may include but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty opening your mouth widely
  • Feeling tired in your face
  • Experiencing tenderness or pain in your teeth, jaw joint area, face, ears, neck, head and/or shoulders
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Getting jaws stuck closed or open
  • Swelling of the sides of your face
  • Difficulty speaking

Though these may be signs of other problems, it is best to seek the opinion of a professional.

During your regular dental checkup, the dentist will inspect your jaw and bite to see if there are any signs of TMJ problems even if you do not notice any symptoms. The dentist may reference X-ray images, MRI tests, and/or CT scans to better diagnose you.

For years Greenbelt Dental Associates has treated patients with all sorts of TMJ issues. Sometimes the solutions are simple and quick, while other times they can be a bit more complicated.

See Real Patient Reviews
in Greenbelt

Review from Peter


I find all the employees at Greenbelt Dental Associates to be wonderfully warm, friendly and knowledgeable. Lydia is a wonderful at keeping track of appointments and billings. Alice is the most outstanding dental hygienist I have ever seen! She does extremely detailed, caring and painless work and makes my teeth feel like new. Dr. Galvan and Sandra have done superb, thorough work on my teeth and kept them in wonderful condition! I feel very blessed to have the employees at Greenbelt Dental Associates taking care of my dental needs.
Review from Sarah


My experience at Greenbelt Dental Associates is the absolute best. I have been going there for over 20 years, first with Dr. Allen (now retired), and now with Dr. Emma Galvan and Dr. Karl Meek. You will not be disappointed. They both are experienced dentists who know their business, and they insist on only the best standards in the office. I referred a friend recently who had some major dental issues, and my friend is very pleased with the services she is getting in this office. In addition, all the staff members are incredible. Lydia is the first person you will meet, and she handles scheduling and accounts with a smile and flexibility. Sandra is a dental assistant who will treat you kindly and with professionalism. Alice is the dental hygienist who has cleaned my teeth well for all these years.
Review from Cisco


Greenbelt Dentist is the best and friendliest place to go! I've been going for 15 years now, and me and my family love the place and the staff, they're like family! Highly blessed and recommended!
Review from Donald


I have been going to Greenbelt Dental Associates for a year now and never had a problem. They are fast and painless even with 2 crowns put in.
Review from Nick


I have been with Greenbelt Dentist for like 20 years and I love their service to take care of my teeth.
Review from Dennis


I am very happy with Greenbelt Dental Associates. I am an especially hard dental challenge and I find they have responded exceptionally well. I highly recommend this group.
Leave a Review
If you are seeking high-quality dental care from an experienced dentist in Greenbelt, call the friendly team at Greenbelt Dental Associates.

Request an Appointment

If you prefer to speak to a team member, please call (301) 241-8100.
(301) 241-8100