TMJ is an acronym that stands for temporomandibular joints. These are the joints that connect the upper and lower jaw to the head. A TMJ disorder, or TMD, is a condition in which these joints become damaged in some way and cause chronic pain. The discomfort often manifests as a constant dull ache close to the temple or ears, and is often accompanied by pain while opening the mouth. This can make it difficult to chew, eat, and talk.
TMD can be developed in those with bruxism, a past jaw dislocation, arthritis, or an injury to the ball and socket joint. Emotional stress is also a common factor, as it can cause clenching and grinding of teeth.
If you have a TMJ Disorder, Andolino Orthodontics can help. Your treatment will be largely affected by the cause of your disorder. While your specific treatment plan will be personalized, here are a few things to be aware of.
If the TMJ disorder is the result of inflammation from bruxism (teeth grinding while sleeping), we may fit you with a custom made night guard to protect your teeth and relax your jaw muscles. We may also suggest rehabilitation exercises to help strengthen the jaw muscles. Medications like anti-inflammatories may also be recommended. Regular exercise and meditation/relaxation exercises can also be beneficial, particularly, to reduce stress and potentially reduce teeth grinding and tension.
The successful reversal of TMJ disorder is often dependent on how early the disorder is discovered. If you feel you may have TMD and are in the New York, New York area, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Frank Andolino at Andolino Orthodontics by calling us today at (212) 753 – 5575.