The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a ball and socket joint that sits just under the ears on either side of the face. This joint connects the upper and lower jaw, as well as allows the lower jaw to open and close. Around the joint itself, there are also various muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. When one or more of these structures becomes dysfunctional, then it is known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
Did You Know?
The jaw joint undergoes a great deal of stress on a daily basis. However, in people who grind their teeth at night, the joint undergoes even more stress. This can eventually lead to TMD.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for TMD treatment?
You may be a candidate for TMD treatment if you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth
- Jaw joint “locks” up
- Problems chewing or biting
- Pain while chewing or biting
- Pain in the temples or along the sides of the face
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Muscle spasms
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Ear pain
- Chronic headaches
To determine if you have TMD and are an ideal candidate for treatment, schedule a consultation with our Flushing, Queens dentist at New York Dental Solutions.
What can I expect when being evaluated and treated for TMD at New York Dental Solutions?
At your consultation, you can expect to be evaluated by our dentist to determine if you are experiencing TMD symptoms. In most cases, you can expect to have a physical examination of the jaw, as well as dental x-rays of the jaw joint. In some cases, however, an MRI or CT scan may also be recommended.
Once a diagnosis of TMD has been made, our dentist will then create a customized treatment plan designed specifically for you. In many cases, you can expect treatment to consist of wearing a protective nightguard while you sleep. Nightguards position the jaw in a more relaxed position that discourages teeth grinding. Botox or Xeomin has also been shown to improve and alleviate TMD conditions. Another common treatment for TMD is stress management to decrease muscle tension.
What can I expect after being treated for TMD?
Treatment for TMD is an ongoing process. Unfortunately, there is no cure for TMD, however many patients notice a reduction in symptoms after they’ve started treatment. For the best results, it is important to follow our dentist’s instructions and alert them if there are any changes. In the beginning, regular dental appointments may also be recommended so that they can monitor your progress and make treatment adjustments as needed.