Jaw pain and tightness are two of the most common symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), but headaches and earaches can arise, too. At Integrated Aesthetic Dentistry in Greenwich Village, Gramercy Park, Murray Hill, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the exceptional team of dentists can help you ease the tension and pain and stop grinding your teeth for long-term TMJ relief. Book your appointment at the nearest New York City location by phone or book online today.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, often shortened to TMJ, is a condition or group of symptoms affecting the joints of your jaw.
You have one temporomandibular joint on each side of your face, which work together to open and close your mouth. Functioning temporomandibular joints are essential for both chewing and speaking.
Types of TMJ fall into the following three categories:
Arthritis is a group of degenerative inflammatory disorders that affect your joints. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the two most common types, can affect your temporomandibular joints.
Myofascial pain is pain originating in the muscles controlling your temporomandibular joints. Teeth grinding is a typical behavior leading to myofascial pain in these regions.
Internal joint derangement refers to damage within the joints that isn’t related to arthritis but still leads to TMJ. It could be a displaced disc, joint dislocation, or bone injury.
TMJ symptoms can make chewing and speaking either very painful, difficult, or nearly impossible. Usually, they become more intense with stress.
A few of the most common symptoms of TMJ and possible complications are:
To make sure your symptoms are coming from TMJ and not from another condition or injury, you should book an appointment with Integrated Aesthetic Dentistry for an official diagnosis. They may take diagnostic X-rays of your jaw or recommend a bite analysis test.
Most often, you can treat TMJ and reduce symptoms with nonsurgical treatments. If your case is mild enough, you may not even need treatment at all. Generally, the team at Integrated Aesthetic dentistry takes one or more of these approaches to help you manage TMJ symptoms:
By eating soft foods for some time and using ice packs on your jaw, you can relax the muscles and relieve some of the tension and pain of TMJ.
Botox is an injectable that you might know for its ability to smooth wrinkles. Your dentist can inject it near your temporomandibular joints to temporarily relax the muscles and relieve tension.
A stabilization splint, also called a bite guard, fits over your upper or lower teeth. It prevents you from grinding your teeth, which you might do throughout the day without even realizing it.
TMJ pain and stiffness might go away on their own, but your dentist can help you find relief if it doesn’t. Schedule your TMJ evaluation and treatment consultation by phone or book online at your nearest Integrated Aesthetic Dentistry location today.