The joint that connects the jaw to the skull is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. It works like a sliding hinge to move your jaw while speaking or eating. When there is a problem with this joint, you may experience pain and discomfort in one or both of these joints (there is one on either side of the mouth). If you believe that you are experiencing a disorder with the TMJ (a temporomandibular disorder, or TMD), visit our dentist near you at Dr. Joe’s in Smithtown, NY.
It is unclear what the exact cause of TMD is. It may be related to genetics, stress, or the result of some type of injury to the mouth. Symptoms of TMD include:
A clicking sound or grating sensation may also be experienced in relation to a TMD, but if it is not painful and does not limit your usage, it generally is not a cause for concern.
Sometimes, the pain or discomfort experienced with a TMD goes away on its own. If you experience persistent pain in the jaw or have trouble opening and closing your jaw, visit your dentist at Dr. Joe’s to have your jaw examined and the problem diagnosed.
To diagnose a TMD, your dentist will examine the jaw closely. A dental x-ray may be needed to examine the teeth and jaw more closely. CT scans and MRIs can also be used to help diagnose a TMJ disorder.
The most common treatment provided by a dentist office is the use of an occlusal appliance (oral splint or mouthguard). Your dentist in Smithtown, NY may provide you with a custom-made mouthguard to be worn for a certain amount of time each day to reduce symptoms associated with TMD and to reduce any damage done to the joint. Physical therapy might also be recommended to stretch, strengthen, or relax the jaw muscles. If these methods do not provide relief, medication or surgery may be required.
Looking for TMJ/TMD treatment in Smithtown, NY? Call our dentist in Smithtown, NY if you are in Huntington, Commack or the surrounding communities.