TMJ Specialist

Dental Professionals of Jersey City

Cosmetic & General Dentistry located in Jersey City, NJ

TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder is frequently uncomfortable and irritating, but for some people, it can be a painful problem that makes it hard to talk or eat. If you have TMJ, Paul Lustiger, DDS, Alexander Hahn, DMD, and the expert team at Dental Professionals of Jersey City can help you with a range of effective therapies, including the latest laser technology. Call the Jersey City, New Jersey, clinic today to find out more or book an appointment online.

TMJ

What is TMJ?

TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint disorder, a painful condition affecting the temporomandibular joint that connects your jawbone to your skull.

There’s one joint on each side of your face close to your ears, surrounded by muscles that control the movement of your jaw.

If you experience any pain or tenderness, this could be a symptom TMJ. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain in the temporomandibular joints
  • Aching and pain in your ear
  • Pain while chewing
  • Problems with chewing
  • Facial pain and an aching feeling
  • Locking of the joint
  • Clicking sound when you move your jaw

Some people hear clicks in their jaw or feel a grating sensation but don’t experience pain or reduced mobility of the jaw. In these cases, treatment may not be necessary.

What causes TMJ?

TMJ can develop if the components of the joint are damaged or deteriorate. To enable you to open your mouth to talk and chew, the temporomandibular joint has hinged and sliding parts, which are protected from each other by cartilage and a shock-absorbent disc.

The joint can become misaligned or damaged by an injury or impact, the disc may deteriorate, or the cartilage can erode as a result of arthritis, all of which lead to the pain of TMJ. Sometimes the cause isn’t clear.

What treatments are available for TMJ?

When you visit the team at Dental Professionals of Jersey City, they first try to pinpoint the cause of your TMJ so they can prescribe the most appropriate treatment.

The first forms of treatment are typically conservative, as most patients find their TMJ improves without the need for more invasive options such as surgery. Initial treatments are likely to include:

  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Low-dose tricyclic antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Oral splints or mouth guards (occlusal appliances)
  • Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles
  • Ultrasound
  • Moist heat

Understanding what makes your pain worse can help you modify your behavior and avoid activities such as grinding and clenching your teeth, biting your fingernails, and leaning on your chin.

If these approaches aren’t having a significant effect on your TMJ, the team at Dental Professionals of Jersey City may recommend surgery or injections. Options include:

  • Arthrocentesis
  • Corticosteroid injections into the joint
  • Botox injections into the jaw muscles
  • TMJ arthroscopy
  • Modified condylotomy
  • Open-joint surgery (arthrotomy)

The team goes over your options in detail with you so you can make an informed choice as to which treatment is most suitable for resolving your TMJ.

If you have pain in your jaw or face, give Dental Professionals of Jersey City a call today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment using the online tool.