TMJ Treatment in the Bronx
For trusted TMJ treatment serving the Bronx, call us today to book an appointment.
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) sit between the skull and the lower jaw on either side of the face. They’re highly complex joints responsible for the jaw’s proper movement and creating a balanced muscular workload on each side of your face. These joints allow you to move your mouth, speak, chew, and even sing.
These joints support a continuous motion, and when functioning correctly, they act without pain, limitation, or clicking. When the TMJ becomes disjointed or misaligned because of trauma, overuse, arthritis, systemic disease, or stress, it can cause a range of symptoms that can negatively affect your life. For TMJ treatment in the Bronx, contact our dental team at Throgs Neck Dental.
We understand the complexities of the jaw joints, nerves, and surrounding muscles. You can count on us to customize a treatment plan that addresses TMJ issues for lasting comfort.
Causes of TMJ Disorders
The cause of the temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly referred to as TMD) is not always apparent, but symptoms may develop from problems with the joint or jaw muscles. The causes of TMJ disorders may be the result of a wide range of factors that may be related to the following:
- Trauma to the head or neck
- Missing teeth or a bad bite
- Oral habits such as clenching or grinding your teeth
- Misalignment of the upper and lower jaw
Types of TMJ Disorders
The main types of TMJ disorders include:
Myofascial Pain Disorder
A TMJ disorder may be the result of pain and discomfort in the muscles surrounding the jaw joint. The cause of the pain may be clenching, grinding (bruxism), or abnormal muscular function.
Degenerative Joint Disease
The aging or overuse of the joint can cause inflammation and degeneration. This issue may result in a perforated TMJ disc, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis.
Internal Derangement of the Joint
An injury to the lower jaw displaced TMJ disc or dislocated jaw can lead to a TMJ disorder. Unlike muscular symptoms, this is structural as it generally involves displacement or slipping of the articular disc within the TMJ.
Patients may experience one or more of these disorders at the same time.
Pain from TMD can be a significant hindrance to the quality of life. The discomfort caused by TMD may radiate from the jaw to the cheeks, neck, ears, shoulders, and back. The disorders may cause uncomfortable, even painful symptoms, such as:
- Jaw locking when you open and close your mouth
- Ringing, pressure, or pain in the ears
- Jaw pain and clicking
- Soreness in the cheek and jaw area
- Tight jaws
- Facial pain
When TMD is left untreated, the symptoms can persist indefinitely and lead to irreparable damage. They may also lead to changes in posture, consequently impacting digestive function and causing chronic lower back pain.
The severity of symptoms may range from seriously debilitating to mildly noticeable. The symptoms may indicate other conditions as well. Therefore, a patient must undergo a thorough examination and medical history by a qualified maxillofacial surgeon.
Due to the complex nature of the temporomandibular joint, the correct diagnosis can be challenging, making treatment difficult. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s imperative to schedule an evaluation. We can diagnose TMJ disorders and provide swift TMJ treatment in the Bronx.
TMJ Risk Factors
Anyone can experience the complications of a TMJ disorder, but some of the factors that increase your risk include:
Gender: Women are more likely to experience TMJ problems than men.
Age: Most TMD symptoms are common among people aged 30 to 50 years of age.
Stress: Stress habits such as constantly clenching and unclenching your jaw, constantly or regularly chewing things such as gum for extended periods, and grinding your teeth during the day or at night can increase the risk of catching TMD.
Medical conditions: The medical conditions likely to increase the risk of getting TMD are:
- Misaligned teeth or bite
- Facial and jaw deformities
- Arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- History of jaw or facial injuries such as fractures or dislocations of the mandibles
Ill-fitting dentures: Improperly fitted dentures following a jaw injury may predispose one to TMD.
When examining your jaw, your doctor or dentist will probably:
- Ask you to open and close your mouth to listen and feel your jaw
- Observe the range of motion of your jaw
- Press on areas of your jaw to identify sites of any pain or discomfort
If the doctor suspects a problem, you may need:
- A CT scan to provide detailed images of the bones in the TMJ
- Dental X-rays to examine your teeth and jaw
- An MRI to reveal problems with the joint’s soft tissue or the joint itself
In some cases, the doctor may use TMJ arthroscopy, where they insert a small thin tube into the joint’s space and a small camera to diagnose the area.
Treatment Options for TMD
After diagnosis, your doctor or dentist will discuss your symptoms and examine your jaw to recommend various treatment options. In some cases, the symptoms may go away without treatment. Often, the doctor will recommend more than one treatment done at the same time.
- A splint or night guard
- Lifestyle and home remedies
- Diet changes
- Physical therapy
- Orthodontic correction
If you suspect you may be suffering from TMD and you’re ready to start on the path to relief, please schedule a consultation with our experts for TMJ treatment in the Bronx. Call us today at (718) 518-8100.