TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, means that
the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn't working
properly. This hinge is one of the most complex joints
in the body, responsible for moving the lower jaw forward,
backward and side-to-side. Any problem that prevents
this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and
bones from working as it should is called TMJ. Often,
TMJ feels like your jaw is popping or clicking or even
"getting stuck" for a moment.
TMJ disorders have many signs and symptoms. It's often hard to know for sure if you have TMJ, because one
or all of these symptoms can also be present for other problems. After conducting an oral examination and
taking x-rays, Dr. Berman can make a proper diagnosis.
Teeth clenching or grinding, causing your muscles to tighten up putting undue strain on the TMJ joints and
arthritis are two known causes of TMJ disorders.
Some of the most common TMJ symptoms include:
Once TMJ disorder has been determined, there are several treatments that Dr. Berman can prescribe to reduce
your symptoms dramatically.
- Headaches (often mimicking migraines), earaches, and pain and pressure behind the eyes
- A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth
- Pain brought on by yawning, opening the mouth widely or chewing
- Jaws that "get stuck," lock or go out
- Tenderness of the jaw muscles
- A sudden change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (212) 888-7070.
- Applying moist heat or taking medication such as muscle-relaxants, aspirin or other over-the-counter
pain-relievers, or anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Reduce clenching and grinding of the teeth by wearing an appliance, sometimes called a bite plate or
splint. Custom-made to fit your mouth, the appliance slips over the upper teeth and keeps them from
grinding against the lower teeth.
- Relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw.
- If the above treatments and others are unsuccessful, jaw joint surgery may be recommended.
Image courtesy of www.webmd.com