TMJ Treatment - Long Island City, NY
Are you having inexplicable jaw pain?
You've been having pain that feels like a toothache or maybe it's generalized jaw pain. However, your dentist took a look and found absolutely nothing wrong with your teeth.
If that sounds like your situation, you may have a problem with your TMJ (temporomandibular joint). It is a small joint that acts as a hinge in your skull which controls all of your jaw movements: opening, closing, chewing, and speaking.
What we offer
Here at Jackson Ave Dental, our dentists can help relieve the pain coming from your temporomandibular joint with a couple of treatment options. We can make you a TMJ splint, equilibrate your bite and also release the tight muscles.
Thus if you're having jaw pain, why not come on by to get your TMJ treatment in Long Island City with our experienced dental team.
A TMJ splint is an oral appliance which you wear to sleep, which can help alleviate pressure on the joint. It'll also protect your teeth if you grind.
It is also commonly known as a night guard or occlusal splint for your jaw.
If your jaw pain stems from an uneven bite, our dentists can adjust it for you by relieving the high pressured spots.
Alternatively, we can also use Invisalign to correct your bite to make your occlusion more harmonious.
Myofascial Release Therapy
The TMJ muscles are attached to the joint. Overuse of it can lead to muscle knots which can tense up and spasm which causes pain.
Manually releasing the knots with trigger point therapy can offer therapeutic relief.
Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
This condition can afflict you in more ways than you can imagine. Some of the signs may even elude you such as an earache or muscle pain but they stem from your TMJ.
Signs and Symptoms of TMD:
Pain or tenderness in the Jaw
Popping, clicking, or grating sounds while moving jaw.
Difficulty opening wide.
Locked jaw where you can't close.
Headaches, earaches, or neck pain.
Teeth aren't coming together.
Jaw soreness or tightness in the morning
Where the pain is felt
Generalized jaw soreness or tenderness
Right in front of where your ear is
Tightness near the temples
Soreness near the bottom edge of your lower jaw
You could also sense a headache
What is the cause of TMD?
Most commonly, TMJ disorder is stress induced overuse of the jaw joint. Typically, parafunctional habits such as teeth grinding or clenching while you're asleep can overwork the joint and muscles.
The end result is a worn down temporomandibular joint and muscle knots developing in the TMJ muscles.
Alternatively, all of your problems could be due to genetics. If your jaw is misaligned, it can lead to joint deterioration over time.
How we can help
TMJ treatment begins with a consultation with one of our long island city dentists.
Our experienced dental team needs to diagnose what is the exact cause of your TMD. Is it the joint, the muscles, or your misaligned bite?
Depending on which one is the source of your problems, we can prescribe you the proper course of treatment.
If the pain stems from the temporomandibular joint, a TMJ splint will be beneficial for alleviating the pressure on the joint. Wearing the jaw splint can help reposition your jaw into a more neutral position. Our dentists at Jackson Ave Dental can custom make the occlusal splint for you, which takes about a week to fabricate.
Parafunctional habits such as teeth grinding or clenching will not only wear down the joint but also the muscles. Overuse of the TMJ muscles will cause them to develop knots and trigger points. When our dentists press on these muscles, it will feel extremely tender and painful. Treatment for this invovles myofascial release, where digital pressure is applied to the muscle to release the taut bands of muscles. We will most likely give you a physical therapy referral as well.
A misaligned bite can cause your teeth to come together prematurely or put more pressure on one side. Adjusting the bite could cause your teeth to come together more evenly. Occlusal equilibration is a temporary solution. For a more permanent fix, you should consider orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign to correct the uneven bite.
Cost for a night guard
On average, night guards are covered at 80% for most PPO dental insurances. What that means for you is that you'll have a 20% copayment to get this oral appliance to protect your teeth.
However, we've noticed that Guardian dental insurance has a tendency to provide benefits for a night guard only if you've had periodontal surgery within the last six months. That has always left our dental team at Jackson Ave Dental wondering... But, what about the patients who grind or clench their teeth?!
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my TMJ go away on its own?
Depending on what the cause of your TMD is, it could potentially go away on its own or it may stay permanently. For instance, if your symptoms are induced by a stressful event that is occurring in your life, perhaps it'll "go away" after that stressful event concludes. One time we had a patient who started getting jaw pain and popping. When we asked if there were any changes in her life, she said she was planning a vacation with her mother in law! Needless to say, it all resolved after the trip ended.
Is it a serious problem?
TMD occurs on a spectrum, which means it could be mild or severe. There are plenty of people who have very mild forms of it and they live with it their whole life. In fact, they don't even notice it until their dentist pointed it out to them. On the other hand, there are people with severe symptoms where it is bad enough that they think they're having a severe toothache.
Can it be cured permanently?
If your condition becomes severe enough, you can get the entire temporomandibular joint replaced by an artificial joint. Of course, this is a surgical procedure that is performed in the operating room. It is typically reserved for the worse cases and as the last option. Since the joint is technically double jointed since you have one on your left and one on your right side, you may very well be getting a double surgery!