We take our jaws for granted, don’t you agree? TMJ can make you aware of just how vital the health of your jaws really are. The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bone in your skull. When it’s working properly, it facilitates the smooth operation of your jaw when it moves both up and down and also from side to side. You use it when you eat, talk, and yawn. But when it’s not functioning the way it should be, that’s when you want to see our TMJ dentist in Manhattan, Dr. Elliott Ostro.
There is no specific cause of TMJ disorder, but it can be due to an injury or an accident that results in damage to the joint or from erosion of the disk that allows it to shift and become misaligned. It can also be a complication that results from having arthritis. Bad biting habits like clenching or grinding may also play a significant role. TMJ disorder can affect anyone of any age or gender, but it’s more likely to occur in women than men, and most typical from the ages of 20 to 40. Possible symptoms of TMJ disorder include pain in or around the ear, general facial pain, tenderness of the jaw, pain while chewing, clicking sound in the jaw, and problems with opening or closing the mouth due to a locking of the joint. If you experience any of the above, call us right away and schedule an exam by our TMJ dentist in Manhattan.
Some mild cases of TMJ disorder won’t require any treatment at all. It may just go away on its own. When treatment is required, you might be able to achieve the necessary relief with just an over-the-counter or prescription pain reliever. Muscle relaxers and sedatives can be very useful in addressing particular problems like teeth clenching at night. Bite guards are also a possible option for addressing TMJ disorder, as are physical therapy, exercising, and counseling. Our TMJ dentist in Manhattan may suggest injections or even surgery for more severe cases.