TMJ disorder is a potentially painful condition that can significantly impact your quality of life. Hinna Chaudhry, DMD, and the team at Ardsley Dental Spa in Ardsley, New York, provide exceptional treatments for TMJ that can restore your oral health and bring your jaw back to proper functioning. To get started, schedule a consultation today by calling the office or requesting a visit online.

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What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and it’s the joint that connects your skull and lower jawbone. You have two TMJs in your body, one on each side of your head right in front of your ears. They work on a complex sliding and hinge-like mechanism that enables you to chew and speak with ease.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a condition that affects the proper functioning of your TMJ. People tend to use TMJ and TMD interchangeably, though technically speaking, TMJ refers to the joint, while TMD refers to the condition associated with the joint.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

Some of the signs that you might have a TMJ disorder include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Pain in your ears, neck, or face
  • Difficulty speaking properly, chewing, or biting down
  • A popping, clicking, or grating sound when you open or close your mouth
  • Jaw pain

The severity of TMJ symptoms varies from person to person and can progress over time. For some people, their TMJ symptoms are a minor annoyance, while others might experience symptoms so bad that they’re unable to open or close their mouths.

What causes TMJ?

It’s unclear what, exactly, causes TMJ, but some of the more common culprits may include:

  • Poor posture
  • Bad diet
  • Lack of sleep
  • Issues with the cartilage disc in your joint

One of the more likely causes of TMJ is bruxism, or the habitual grinding and clenching of your teeth. 

How do you treat TMJ?

Ardsley Dental Spa prefers to start with the least invasive methods for treating TMJ and then get more aggressive in their treatment if they do not see results. 

The first line of treatment for TMJ is simple at-home remedies. These include changing your diet to incorporate more soft foods and regularly massaging your jaw muscles. Your dentist can show you how to properly massage your jaw joint without causing a flare-up or irritating the area.

Another line of treatment is to make you a custom-fitted night guard. If your TMJ is from habitual teeth grinding and clenching, a night guard can reduce your symptoms by keeping your teeth slightly separated at night, therefore causing less stress on your jaw joints and muscles when you grind or clench.

Your provider may also suggest a treatment using Botox® injections, which are commonly used to reduce wrinkles but have been shown to help with TMJ discomfort.

To find relief from your TMJ, schedule an appointment today by phone or online with the team at Ardsley Dental Spa.