Paul L. Gregory , DDS
General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Midtown, New York, NY
TMJ is a debilitating condition that leaves your jaw feeling sore, tight, and painful. Paul L. Gregory, DDS, understands how the effects of TMJ can spill over into your everyday life, making it difficult to eat, speak, or smile without pain. That’s why he provides comprehensive TMJ treatment options at his office in Midtown West, New York City. For more information on TMJ, call Paul L. Gregory, DDS, or schedule a visit online.
TMJ Q & A
What is TMJ?
Your temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw and upper jaw. Located right in front of the ears, this joint plays a vital role in chewing and speaking. The temporomandibular joint makes it possible for you to open and close your mouth by working together with its surrounding muscles and ligaments.
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, occurs when your joints, ligaments, or jaw muscles become injured, inflamed, or deteriorated. It’s a painful condition that typically worsens over time when left untreated.
What causes TMJ?
Because your temporomandibular joint works with the muscles and ligaments in your jaw to function properly, there is no single cause of TMJ. Any problem that prevents this complex system from working together to open and close your jaw can result in TMJ.
Some of the most common TMJ causes include:
- Jaw injury
- Jaw clenching
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Bite problems
Dr. Gregory understands that TMJ can’t be treated without the right diagnosis. His goal is to find out exactly what might be causing your TMJ before recommending treatment.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
While TMJ is common, you might not know you have it. If you think you might have this debilitating condition, watch out for the following TMJ symptoms:
- Sore jaw
- Muscle pain in jaw
- Repeated jaw clenching
- Weak teeth
- Loose teeth
- Facial pain
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Difficulty chewing
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Chronic headaches
- Fatigue and poor sleep
- Chipped teeth
- Clicking or popping sound
As your jaw joint deteriorates, you may notice yourself clenching more often. To prevent the pain and discomfort from worsening, call Dr. Gregory for a full evaluation.
How is TMJ treated?
There are many nonsurgical treatments to improve TMJ pain and discomfort, including:
A night guard, or splint, is the most common treatment for TMJ. Dr. Gregory fabricates these custom-made night guards to relieve pressure and strain on your temporomandibular while you sleep. Not only do these comfortable appliances gently restore your bite, they also stop your teeth from grinding together, which prevents further damage.
Dr. Gregory can recommend stretching and strengthening jaw muscle and joint exercises to relieve pain and soreness in your jaw.
Repeated clenching and grinding can leave your jaw joint and the surrounding muscles tender and inflamed. Anti-inflammatory medications help reduce inflammation, which relieves pressure and allows your jaw to relax.
Botox injections freeze the muscles in your joint to prevent them from tightening and becoming inflamed in severe TMJ cases.
Jaw surgery for TMJ is a last resort treatment if less invasive techniques have provided little to no results.
If constant jaw pain is stopping you from talking, smiling, and enjoying the foods you love, call Paul L. Gregory, DDS, for a full diagnostic evaluation or book an appointment online.