Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the hardest working joints in your body. From chewing to speaking, your TMJ is constantly on the move, so when pain strikes, it can have a severe impact on your quality of life. At Geller Family Dental in Bronxville, New York, Dr. Andrew Geller and his team wield the latest diagnostic tools to get to the bottom of your pain and help you find relief. To learn more about the options for TMJ disorders, call or book an appointment online.
TMJ Q & A
What is the TMJ?
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which are the small joints that connect your jawbone to your head on either side. The joints operate with a sliding hinge action, relying on cartilage and a small disk to allow smooth movement between the bones.
What are the symptoms of a TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorders cause pain in these joints and the surrounding muscles. While pain is the primary symptom of a TMJ disorder, how the pain manifests itself differs from person to person and includes:
- General pain or tenderness in your jaw
- An ache that reaches your ears
- Generalized facial pain
- Pain while chewing
In addition to the pain, a TMJ disorder may also cause your jaw to lock or pop, making it difficult or painful to open and close your mouth.
What causes a TMJ disorder?
It’s often difficult to find the exact cause of your TMJ disorders, but doctors link these joint problems to:
- Injury to the jaw
- Erosion of the disk
- Behaviors such as grinding or clenching
- Poor dental structure
During your visit with Dr. Geller, he reviews your medical history and your family’s medical history, as well as your lifestyle and habits to get to the root of the problem.
How is TMJ treated?
Since the causes of TMJ disorders are so varied, Dr. Geller first conducts an extensive examination of your teeth and jaw using advanced imaging technology to provide the most comprehensive view. Through this imaging, he can see where dental problems may be affecting your TMJ and treats them accordingly, including:
- Replacing missing teeth
- Shifting teeth
- Adjusting your bite
- Filling gaps between your teeth
Sometimes, Dr. Geller treats your TMJ disorder with a mouthguard in cases where grinding or clenching may play a role.
If these adjustments and treatments prove ineffective, more aggressive measures may be recommended, such as surgical repair of your joint. Dr. Geller and his team test every possible solution before resorting to surgery.
If you’re experiencing TMJ pain, call Geller Family Dental to get on the road to relief. Or, you can book an appointment online.