Located on each side of your face, the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) attach the lower jaw to the skull and are the most commonly used joints in the body. The TMJ allow for all variations of oral function, enabling you to bite, chew, speak, yawn, laugh, and open and close your mouth with ease. When these joints or surrounding muscles become damaged or injured, a condition known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder (TMD) may result. This disorder may cause mild to severe symptoms that include facial or jaw pain, limited opening, and headaches, among several other issues. At PDADental, our multi-specialty team uses advanced techniques to diagnose and treat cases of TMD. Treatment may include night guards (oral appliance therapy), bite adjustments, or jaw joint surgery in more severe cases. If you have jaw pain or other uncomfortable symptoms, get in touch with our Financial District, Lower Manhattan, NY office and find the relief you need with specialized TMJ care.
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While the precise source behind TMD remains unclear, a number of elements are known to contribute to or worsen the condition. TMJ problems may arise from trauma or injury to the jaw, chronic teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism), an uneven bite, and tooth misalignment. In other cases, stress or anxiety, a tumor in the jaw joint, or arthritis may contribute to the presence of TMJ. Common symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders
- Limited range of opening
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Difficulty with opening, closing, or chewing
- Grinding or popping noises in the jaw
- Earaches or ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
Please schedule a visit with our New York City practice if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Our skilled team can pinpoint factors that may be leading to TMD and devise a treatment strategy to alleviate discomfort and improve your jaw function.
What To Expect
At your TMJ evaluation visit, we will first talk with you about your symptoms before taking digital x-rays and performing a bite analysis. Our dentists will assess the movement of your jaw as you open and close your mouth and screen for underlying factors that may be causing your discomfort, including evidence of teeth grinding or bite misalignment. We will then palpate your jaw joints and surrounding muscles to evaluate for any tenderness or inflammation. After completing a full exam and reviewing your diagnostic results, our PDADental team will determine the treatment strategy ideal for addressing your TMD and relieving your jaw pain. TMJ treatment options are customized to each patient but may include custom night guard therapy, bite adjustments, restorative dentistry, orthodontics, or a surgical approach to repair more extensive damage.
Palliative care strategies may also be suggested to help manage uncomfortable symptoms alongside your TMJ treatment. These recommendations may include the avoidance of gum chewing and other parafunctional habits, relaxation techniques, a soft food diet, and hot and cold compresses against the face and jaw. Special exercises for strengthening the jaw muscles and anti-inflammatory medications may also be suggested to relieve joint inflammation, jaw pain, or anxiety. Throughout the course of your care, we may schedule follow-up appointments so our dentists can monitor your TMJ health and evaluate your progress. This also gives us the opportunity to reassess your needs and optimize treatment results. Attending regular preventive care visits at PDADental and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home each day is essential to keeping your oral health in ideal condition.
Coverage for TMJ treatment often varies among individual insurance policies. Prior to beginning your care, our business team will review your benefits and let you know of any potential out-of-pocket expenses. PDADental wants all patients to receive the high-quality care needed for better oral health and is pleased to accept financing through CareCredit® and other convenient payment options.
Advanced TMD Treatments
The health of your jaw joints is extremely important to your comfort, well-being, and ability to eat and speak with ease. The dentists at PDADental in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, NY are highly trained in treating TMD and are ready to provide the relief you need for better quality living. If you have jaw pain or other uncomfortable symptoms, we encourage you to schedule a visit with our specialized team to learn about your TMJ treatment options.