TMJ

Vanguard and Achury Dental

General Dentistry located in Garden City, NY & Jackson Heights, NY

An estimated 5 to 12% of American adults are dealing with TMJ, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. At Vanguard and Achury Dental in Garden City, Long Island, and Jackson Heights, Queens, skillful dentists Camilo Achury, DDS, and Diva Puerta, DDS, provide valuable solutions for TMJ and the symptoms that often come along with it. Find relief for your jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, and more at Vanguard and Achury Dental. Call either office in New York City or schedule an appointment online today.

TMJ Q & A

What is TMJ?

TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a condition involving problems with your temporomandibular joint. Your jaw hinge joint connects your jaw and skull bones. This hinge joint allows you to move your jaw, talk, yawn, and chew your food.

TMJ often causes severe discomfort and pain. It can be temporary, or it can last for many years. TMJ can affect one side or both sides of your face.

What causes TMJ?

The cause of TMJ isn’t definitive. Dental experts point to muscle or jawbone complications due to a number of factors, such as:

  • Accident, trauma, or injury to your head, jaw, or neck (whiplash)
  • Stress that can tighten the facial muscles and the jaw through jaw clenching and teeth grinding
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation from various medical conditions

Placing excess pressure on this joint by clenching or grinding your teeth can cause TMJ. You’re not usually aware of it because it happens while you sleep, often due to stress and anxiety.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

The hallmark symptom of TMJ includes moderate to severe pain, discomfort, and soreness in the jaw hinge joint and the surrounding area. You might have other TMJ symptoms, such as:

  • Clicking, popping, and grating sounds coming from your jaw joint when you move it
  • Swelling in your face around your jaw area
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Problems when you attempt to open your mouth wide
  • Locked jaw (when your jaw gets stuck when your mouth is open or closed)
  • Pain and tenderness in the hinge joint that can spread to the shoulders, ears, and neck
  • Toothaches
  • Headaches, dizziness, and earaches

You may also experience ringing in your ears (tinnitus) and have difficulty hearing.

What are the treatments for TMJ?

Vanguard and Achury Dental offers a range of treatments for TMJ, depending on the cause and severity. Before recommending treatments, your dentist checks your jaw joints for tenderness and pain and listens for clicking, grating, or popping sounds when you move your jaw. 

Your dentist also assesses your bite and how your jaw functions, checks if your jaw locks when you open or close your mouth, and identifies any problems with your facial muscles.

Your dentist might suggest a night guard or splint to prevent daytime or nighttime teeth clenching and grinding or other treatments, such as medications (muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories).

When dental work is necessary, it usually involves replacing missing teeth and dental options like crowns, bridges, or braces that can balance your biting surfaces, correct your bite, enhance your smile, and protect your dental health.

Find relief for TMJ. Call Vanguard and Achury Dental today or schedule your appointment online.