TMJ is an acronym for the temporomandibular joint. Joints exist where two bones meet. Each joint is usually surrounded by muscle, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull.
TMJ Disorders occur for a variety of reasons like:
- Your teeth don’t align properly when you chew
- Sport injuries
- Chewing gum or biting nails
- Opening the jaw beyond its normal range
- As a side effect of rheumatoid arthritis
- Excessive and improper movements of the lower jaw that wears away the bone and cartilage around the joint
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking or popping sound when opening or closing the mouth
- Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
- Difficulty or discomfort biting or chewing
- Dull aching pain in the face
- Earaches or headaches
- Hearing loss
Generally multiple symptoms of TMJ Disorder will occur across muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones and teeth.
Estimates indicate that nearly one in ten Americans experiences TMJ disorder, with a higher occurrence in females.
Dr. Calat advocates conservative treatments to help TMJ disorders. Surgery is only recommended if all other options have not led to improvement. We will be happy to schedule an oral surgery consultation with Dr. Calat in midtown Manhattan about your specific circumstance. Some of Dr. Calat’s conservative suggestions may include:
- Techniques to rest your jaw
- Exercises to keep your teeth apart when not eating
- Eating softer foods to reduce stress on the jaw
- Application of ice and heat
- Jaw Exercises
If you grind your teeth while you sleep a night guard may be recommended depending on your individual needs. A night guard is a clear plate that prevents you from wearing the teeth and help you relax your jaw while asleep and may provide pain relief.
Video: Learn About TMJ Anterior Disk Displacement
To learn more about TMJ Disorder treatments call Dr. Calat – 212-696-2677 or email us.