TMJ is the acronym for temporomandibular joint, which connects your lower jaw (the mandible) to your skull at the temporal bone. The temporomandibular joints are located on each side of your head and make it possible to open and close your mouth. The joints control many jaw functions, like chewing. If the chewing muscles or the joint itself are causing you pain you may have the temporomandibular disorder or TMJ. TMJ can be caused by stress, continual clenching of the jaw muscles, or teeth grinding.
Some of the symptoms of TMJ are:
- Pain when opening or closing mouth
- Trouble chewing
- Jaw becoming stuck open or shut
- Headaches or ear pain
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth
- Teeth Grinding
Many of these symptoms can often be associated with other health problems such as:
- tooth and jaw alignment
For this reason, only a medical professional can tell you if it is due to TMJ. Teeth grinding is an especially problematic symptom because it can lead to further problems. Prolonged teeth grinding, or bruxism can cause enamel to wear off teeth and expose dentin. This material is softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink may also develop from excessive teeth grinding.
If you suspect you may have TMJ come in for a consultation. We can help diagnose you and provide relief for your symptoms. Pain relievers and hot/cold compresses are short-term methods to provide relief for pain symptoms. A night guard can be used to help prevent or lessen the effects of teeth grinding at night. This can lead to a more permanent solution. In very severe cases of TMJ surgery may be required, but behavioral treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.
Contact us today by phone at 212-509-4585 or use our contact form. We will be happy to assist you.
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Meet the Doctors
Lloyd Becker, DDS
Lloyd Becker, DDS brings a fresh new approach to the dental practice. He has a deep understanding of the people in the area. His continued and advanced education adds an added layer to Maiden Lane Dental.
Dr. Demetrious Tsiokos
Dr. Demetrious Tsiokos continues to administer the most advanced treatments in General Dentistry and Periodontics and Implantology.