TMJ / TMD Treatment
The hinge joint connecting your jaw to your skull’s temporal bones is called the temporomandibular joint. It allows you to open and close your mouth, as well as move your lower jaw from side to side. Temporomandibular joint disorder (a.k.a., TMJ / TMD) refers to any inflammation or problem with the muscles that govern your ability to move your jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ/TMD
Those who suffer from TMD know that its symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. Patients with this disorder often complain of:
• Tenderness, discomfort, and/or pain in the cheeks, jaw, neck and shoulders, and around the ears, especially when attempting to open the mouth, talk, or chew.
• Clicking or popping when opening the mouth wide or moving the jaw from side to side.
• Lockjaw, which occurs when the jaw gets stuck in one position, usually either open or closed.
• Fatigue in the muscles of the face.
• Difficulty chewing or sudden discomfort when biting down.
• Swelling on one or both sides of the face.
If you’ve experienced any or all of these symptoms, we highly recommend making an appointment for a consultation with Drs. Galligan and Villa as soon as possible. You don’t have to live with the pain and discomfort of these symptoms. We can help.
What Causes TMJ/TMD?
Unfortunately, there is no single known cause or set of causes for TMJ. We have, however, seen a high correlation between TMD and stress and problems with jaw muscles, exacerbated by:
• Clenching or grinding teeth
Simply knowing the triggers for your TMD can greatly help in preventing future issues with it.
How We Treat TMJ/TMD
If you suspect that you have TMJ/TMD, call us today to schedule a consultation. When you come in for your first appointment, Drs. Galligan and Villa will perform a physical examination of your jaw joint and facial muscles. He’ll be looking for tenderness and pain, as well as proper function in this examination. He will also take X-rays of your jaw to determine what’s going on with it and how to proceed with treatments.
Treatments may be as simple as taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and eating soft foods for a few days whenever you have a flare-up. However, if you’re suffering from frequent inflammation and/or lockjaw, Drs. Galligan and Villa may recommend further treatments, including medications to help you deal with stress without grinding or clenching your teeth, a splint or night guard to keep your jaw in the correct position when you sleep, and/or dental crowns, cosmetic bonding, or porcelain veneers to repair wear and tear from grinding your teeth.
Every TMD case is different, and so we urge you to call us today at 718-984-7700 to schedule your consultation. TMJ/TMD is very painful and can cause embarrassing situations if your jaw locks open or shut while you’re in public. Let Drs. Galligan and Villa help you get rid of the symptoms and enjoy a TMD-free life again.