Treatment options for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD/TMJ) near Peekskill, NY vary depending on the severity of the problem. Dr. Bard Levey and the professionals at Levey Dentistry are experts in the treatment of TMD/TMJ. Patients diagnosed with TMD/TMJ are often referred to Dr. Bard Levey by former patients who have been successfully treated and who are now pain free.
What Is TMD/TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) allows the jaw to move up and down and from side to side. Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) or Temporomandibular Jaw Dysfunctions (TMJ) are medical conditions that affect the point where the jaw bone is connected to the skull. TMJ disorders cause pain in the jaw and in the muscles that surround and control the movement of the jaw.
Signs and Symptoms of TMD/TMJ Disorder
Patients who suspect they are experiencing pain or discomfort because of TMJ often report:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw
- Stiffness in the jaw
- Pain or aching in and around your ear
- Discomfort or difficulty while chewing
- Limited or no movement of the jaw
What Causes TMD/TMJ?
The bones of the jaw joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth. TMJ can be caused when:
- The disk wears away or moves out of alignment
- The joint cartilage is damaged by arthritis
- The joint itself is damaged by a blow or hard impact
How Is TMD/TMJ Treated?
TMD/TMJ can often be treated without an invasive procedure. Some approaches include:
Ask your doctor if an over-the-counter pain reliever may be effective for TMJ-related pain. Medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, muscle relaxants, or a nighttime sedatives may also be used to treat specific cases of TMD/TMJ. Do not use these medications without first consulting with your doctor.
- Physical Therapy
Physical therapy treatments for TMD/TMJ include strengthening exercises for the jaw muscles, bite guards (oral splints), ultrasound, or moist heat or ice compresses applied to the jaw. Avoid any strenuous jaw activity that could aggravate your pain, such as clenching or grinding your teeth and leaning on your chin. Many people with jaw pain often benefit from wearing a pliable but firm device to hold onto with their teeth.
Surgery for TMD/TMJ is a treatment option of last resort. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) considers TMJ surgery to be controversial and recommends that it be avoided whenever possible.
You should seek medical attention for TMJ disorder if you have persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, or if you can’t open and close your jaw completely. Discuss your concerns with your dentist and learn more about the causes and treatments of Temporomandibular Disorders.
Dr. Bard Levey will help you to find a safe way to relieve your TMD/TMJ related pain and the team at Levey Dentistry near Peekskill, NY works with their patients to plan a course of treatment that is effective, manageable, and affordable.
Don’t let yourself suffer through the pain. Call Levey Dentistry at: 914.271.6224