The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, plays a crucial role in our daily lives, allowing us to talk, chew, and yawn—essentially giving us the freedom to move the bottom jaw. When something goes wrong with this complex joint, it can cause significant discomfort and negatively impact our quality of life.
At Midtown Manhattan Dental Arts, we understand how debilitating TMJ-related pain can be. That’s why our New York, NY team is proud to offer a non-invasive solution that can help you find relief and get back to enjoying life to the fullest. Read below to find out more about the jaw joint and our incredibly easy treatment!
What Is The TMJ?
The TMJ is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, located in front of each ear. This joint allows for smooth movement of the jaw, enabling us to chew food, speak, and yawn. It is one of the most complex joints in the body, as it must accommodate both hinging and sliding motions.
What Is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, is a term used to describe a group of conditions that affect the TMJ and the muscles responsible for jaw movement. TMD can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, head, neck, and even shoulders. It can also lead to issues with jaw function, such as difficulty chewing, talking, or opening the mouth wide.
What Causes TMD?
TMD can be caused by various factors, including:
- Trauma or injury to the jaw
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which puts pressure on the joint
- Arthritis in the TMJ
- Dislocation or misalignment of the jaw
- Stress, which can lead to muscle tension and jaw clenching
- Connective tissue diseases that affect the TMJ
- Genetic predisposition or congenital abnormalities
The Symptoms Of TMD
TMD can manifest in various ways, and symptoms may vary from person to person. Common signs of TMD include:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw, face, or around the ear
- Difficulty or discomfort while chewing
- Locking of the jaw or limited jaw movement
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth
- Earaches or tinnitus
- Headaches, neck pain, or shoulder pain
- Swelling on the side of the face
It’s important to note that leaving TMD untreated can lead to worsening symptoms and further complications, such as chronic pain, permanent joint damage, and even changes in bite alignment. Seeking help from our specialists at Midtown Manhattan Dental Arts is crucial in addressing TMD and preventing long-term issues.
Treatment With Oral Appliance Therapy
At Midtown Manhattan Dental Arts, our specialists use oral appliance therapy to provide a non-invasive solution for TMD. These custom-made devices are designed to reposition the jaw, alleviate pressure on the TMJ, and prevent teeth grinding or clenching. By wearing the appliance at night or as directed by our team, patients can experience significant relief from their TMD symptoms.
TMD treatment with oral appliance therapy can be truly life-changing. As pain and discomfort diminish, patients can enjoy improved jaw function, better sleep, and a renewed sense of well-being. Our team of experienced providers is dedicated to informing patients about their condition and ensuring they receive the best possible care. We work closely with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan, monitor progress, and make adjustments as needed to optimize results.
Don’t let TMD hold you back from living your best life. This simple, non-invasive treatment can make a significant difference in the lives of those suffering from the disorder. Call today to schedule an appointment!