Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Alexandria
1500 Belle View Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22307

TMJ Therapy in Alexandria, VA

Get Effective Relief for TMJ Syndrome

It’s estimated that ten million Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, a common condition affecting the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. TMJ typically causes pain in the jaw, face, and neck area that may radiate down into the shoulder. If you have experienced this type of pain, or suspect that you may have TMJ syndrome, your Dental Associates of Northern Virginia professionals will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan.

What is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome?

Temporomandibular joint syndrome, more commonly referred to as TMJ, involves the area of your mouth where the lower jaw connects with the skull via the temporal bone. Sometimes this joint doesn’t function the way it should due to overstretching. The condition typically begins between the ages of 20 to 40, and may last for many years.

Typical causes of TMJ syndrome.

It can be difficult to pinpoint the source of TMJ syndrome, since it can be linked to a number of different causes. TMJ typically results from an overstretched jaw muscle brought about by one of the following:

  • Teeth grinding due to stress
  • Incorrect alignment of the bite (occlusion)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Injury of the jaw, neck, or head

How does TMJ affect the joints of the jaw?

The temporomandibular joint is one of the most frequently used in the body–involved in chewing, speaking, and yawning. When TMJ syndrome is present, it affects both the muscles and joints of the jaw.

TMJ symptoms may include:

  • Jaw, neck, and face pain
  • Pain that radiates into the head and shoulders
  • A clicking or popping noise with jaw movement
  • Locking of the jaw joint
  • Facial swelling and sensitivity
  • Difficulty chewing or fully opening the mouth

The diagnosis of TMJ syndrome.

If your Dental Associates of Northern Virginia dentist suspects you may suffer from TMJ syndrome, he or she will give you a thorough examination. Your dentist will likely evaluate the movement of your jaw, bite, and facial muscles. She or he may also request X-rays, an MRI, or a CAT scan to rule out other possible causes.

Treating TMJ syndrome.

Treatment for TMJ syndrome depends on the cause and the severity of the problem. In most cases, a night guard or splint–mouthpieces that fit over the teeth–will prevent the grinding that causes TMJ. These mouthpieces can also help correct an improper bite. In extreme cases, you may require surgery or orthodontic treatment to restore your muscles, teeth, and jaw joint to their proper functioning.

Medications for TMJ syndrome.

Your Dental Associates dentist may suggest over the counter pain relievers such as NSAIDs, or a muscle relaxant to prevent further clenching and grinding of the teeth. Other remedies include anti-anxiety medications to eliminate the stress that may contribute to TMJ.

How to cope with TMJ syndrome.

If you suspect your symptoms may stem from TMJ syndrome, ask your Dental Associates of Northern Virginia dentist for an appropriate assessment. Our professional staff will evaluate you to determine if TMJ is, in fact, the cause. If so, we offer extensive experience in this particular type of problem involving the teeth and jaws. Your treatment plan may combine multiple areas of dentistry, such as oral surgery, orthodontics, and the use of an oral sleep appliance to help alleviate symptoms. Let our experts help you get the effective relief you seek for TMJ syndrome.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
I just finished my invisalign treatment with Dr. Julia Lokitis, and I am more than happy with the results. Dr. Lokitis, she is amazing and very friendly she takes the time to explain every step of […]
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Excellent service!!
Anetria B.
Dr. Lokitis and her team are the best! Today I arrived at my appointment almost an hour early and she was just about to head out to lunch. When she saw me, she decided to postpone her lunch rather […]
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Marcia is a fantastic tech and does a great job. I actually look forward to my teeth cleanings! I also just had a filling and the entire process was quick and went smoothly- much better than the last […]
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I love Dr. Lokitis, she and staff are so professional and proficient. I highly recommend her if you looking for a great dentist.
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The dental hygienist is always friendly and the dentist is always thorough
Stephanie D.
I highly recommend Dental Associates of Northern VA Alexandria. The entire staff is friendly and courteous. Appointments have always been on time which is much appreciated. Dr. Lokitis is so sweet […]
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Love the dentists, hygenists, and office staff! Always friendly and professional. Superior dental services!
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Excellent care
Beatrice S.
The dental assistant was very attentive and made efforts to put me at ease during the visit. She took time to find out answers to my questions.
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The staff are always pleasant and helpful. My appointment was right on time. Dr. Lokitis is great. She puts you at ease, and is wonderful at explaining any issues and answering any questions.
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Great staff, professional service, friendly, efficient, caring. Dr Legum and his hygienist Serap do A+ work.
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Excellent previous appointments.
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Friendly and convenient neighborhood location!
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Service was prompt and Dr Lokitis’ care is excellent.
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Professional and Fabulous at cosmetic dentistry, true artistry! I am thrilled with my porcelain veneers!
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Office Hours
Mon. – 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue. – 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed. – 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thu. – 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri. – 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Sat. – Closed
Sun. – Closed
Phone: (703) 596-0872
Fax: (703) 768-3018
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For appointments, call: (703) 596-0872
Office Hours
  • Monday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (703) 596-0872
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