The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint that acts as a sliding hinge because it connects your jawbone to your skull. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ or TMD) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. TMJ is often the result of an imbalance in the bite. TMJ disorder can cause some people a lot of pain in their jaw joints and the surrounding muscles.
Dr. Lotardo, Dr. Pop, or Dr. Caesar will perform a thorough exam during your visit to one of our dentist office locations. We will also discuss your medical history to identify the underlying cause in an effort to recommend appropriate, lasting treatment.
Common TMJ Symptoms
The symptoms of TMJ can be debilitating and often significantly interfere with everyday life. Our treatment goal is to bring relief from the pain and discomfort caused by the TMJ symptoms. TMJ sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.
Common signs and symptoms can include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, often characterized by tooth wear or damage
- Frequent headaches
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Limited mobility in the jaw
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing the jaw
TMJ treatment can be very complex which is why there is no one way to correct the problem. After a comprehensive oral examination, our dental care team will make a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs and symptoms.
Treatment options will depend on the severity of your dental concern, possible tooth damage, and an assessment of your overall lifestyle. It could take one or several treatments to correct the instability and repair any damage to teeth or gums. Our goal is to treat TMJ by gently and naturally bringing the head, neck, jaw, and bite into proper alignment.
Mouthguards or dental splint therapy: a custom mouthguard or splint is often a conservative first step, used early in treatment, and not needed as a long-term solution. A dental split can be helpful to help identify a comfortable and stable bite position. It is often a treatment for teeth grinding.
Restorative dental treatments for bite correction: For patients with tooth damage, restorative dental treatments may be necessary to repair teeth and restore a comfortable bite. This allows the jaw to open and close in its proper position and eliminates stress on the jaw joints. These can include dental crowns, dental veneers, or tooth bonding.
Orthodontics: If crooked and misaligned teeth are the cause of your bite problem, Dr. Pop may recommend orthodontic treatment to help restore balance to your bite. Invisalign can be used to help patients correct bite problems. Dr. Pop is an Invisalign provider in Roslyn, NY.
Reduce stress: Sometimes TMJ pain can often be relieved with a lifestyle change by reducing the stress that could be triggering teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Daily walks and physical exercise are good first steps in reducing stress.
TMJ Treatment FAQs
What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
If you have moderate to severe TMJ disorder symptoms, they will only get worse without any type of treatment. TMJ may go away on its own in several weeks to months if you have very mild issues. TMJ has a greater chance of going away on its own with healthy lifestyle changes.
How do I get my jaw to stop clicking?
Doing jaw exercises, applying a cold pack every once in a while, and eating soft foods for a period of time can reduce the amount of popping and clicking of your jaw. Occasional jaw clicking and discomfort in the jaw joint are common, but should not be left unchecked if it’s a constant issue.
How long does it take for TMJ to go away?
Your TMJ problem can go away in a couple of days to a couple of months. It all depends on which treatment you choose if any. More “aggressive” treatments can rid you of TMJ symptoms almost the same day, while others can have a gradual effect.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Consultation
Are you looking for a dentist that offers TMJ treatment in Roslyn, Riverhead, or Nesconset NY? Schedule a consultation at your local Bella Smiles office to discuss your concerns and explore treatment options for improving both oral health and quality of life.