TMJ Treatment in NYC

For full chewing, people need not only healthy teeth but also correctly functioning joints. Sometimes tooth decay, its absence, bite pathology, general health, instability of the endocrine system, and other factors can cause specific changes in the articular apparatus.

What is TMJ Treatmen?

Gnathology is a field of dentistry dealing with issues of the temporomandibular joint. This is a relatively young branch of dentistry, which is actively developing, and only some clinics have an appropriate specialist on the staff. But iSmile Dental has a high-level gnathologist guided in his work by the latest research.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is unique in the human body, as it works in pairs. This is a complex system of bone structures and ligaments, which, together with the masticatory muscles, provides movement of the lower jaw and closing of the teeth. TMJ refers to the most working joints in the human skeleton. With disorders that occur in the articular surfaces, dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint is formed, causing discomfort of various levels, up to headaches.

According to WHO statistics, TMJ dysfunction is observed in almost every second inhabitant of the Earth aged 20-50 years.

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The main signs of TMJ dysfunction are:

  • a click or crunch in the TMJ when opening and closing the mouth;
  •  pain or discomfort in the TMJ or the masticatory muscles during chewing or expansive opening of the mouth;
  • a change in the position of the lower jaw, the appearance of facial asymmetry;
  • uncomfortable closing of teeth, pain in the teeth when chewing;
  • reducing the width of the opening of the mouth;
  •  headaches; dizziness; back pain and neck; pain or ringing in the ears;
  • change in the oval of the face.

Causes of TMJ dysfunction

These can be injuries of the temporomandibular joint, prolonged absence of chewing teeth, permanent or periodic compression of the teeth (bruxism), and chewing on one side and others.

The most common cause of TMJ dysfunction is bruxism, manifested by symptoms such as clenching, tapping, and teeth grinding, mainly during sleep. The causes of bruxism can be mental or physical stress and stress disturbances in the closure of the teeth, which are transformed into the excessive activity of the masticatory muscles - the strongest muscles in the human body. The consequences of bruxism are manifested not only by pathological abrasion of the teeth but also by the destruction of the elements of the joint and pain in the ear and the masticatory muscles.

Subsequently, in the absence of competent treatment, jaw movements are significantly disturbed, the neck and back muscles have strong tension, osteochondrosis, headaches occur, and sleep and mood worsen. These unpleasant symptoms can eventually develop into psychological problems.

TMJ dysfunction can also develop in the presence of genetic or abnormal features of the joints' anatomy in the face's skull.

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Diagnostics in iSmile Dental before treatment of TMJ diseases.

At the initial consultation, our doctor gets acquainted with the patient and finds his complaints, life history, and specific disease in detail. The specialist evaluates the patient's posture and functions, such as breathing, swallowing, and chewing. After that, a clinical dental examination is performed to determine the dental status. The nature of the closure of the teeth at different positions of the lower jaw and the state of the masticatory muscles are investigated.

Next, the doctor conducts a manual functional analysis, which includes listening to the noises in the TMJ (crunch, click), determining the range of motion of the lower jaw, palpation of TMJ, masticatory and facial muscles, neck muscles, functional tests, assessment of the trajectory of the lower jaw and the correctness of interdental contacts.

Based on the data from the initial examination, a plan for the diagnostic examination of the patient is drawn up. In most cases, this is an X-ray examination.

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Treatment of TMJ dysfunction.

Treatment of dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint by iSmile Dental doctors is carried out comprehensively by dentists of different specialties. This includes the elimination of pain in the masticatory muscles and joints; normalization of the width of the opening of the mouth; relaxation of the masticatory muscles; restoration of the height of the bite, the number of teeth, and the formation of the proper closure of the teeth.

In the treatment process, relaxed masticatory muscles ensure the correct position of the TMJ elements. Gradually, the severity of the click in the TMJ decreases, or it is completely eliminated.

The correct position of the lower jaw and the relationship of the TMJ elements are fixed with the help of multiple symmetrical contacts between the jaws at the desired bite height. This allows the dentition to function stably and for a long time.

After, with abrasion of teeth, malocclusion, and loss of some teeth, it is necessary to carry out orthodontic treatment or prosthetics.

When the temporomandibular joint dysfunction is already severely neglected and does not respond to conservative treatment, the gnatologist may prescribe a minimally invasive surgical intervention, for example, arthroscopy or artrolavag.

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If the question arises of which doctor to contact with TDM, the answer is one – a gnatologist. The doctor with TDM will make a comprehensive examination, find out the scale of the lesion, and competently prescribe treatment.

The stage of the disease determines the duration of treatment. Usually, the course lasts 1-3 months, but advanced cases are treated for years.

The disease responds well to treatment. Sometimes antibiotic therapy, taking NSAIDs, steroids, and physiotherapy are enough. But, often occurring arthritis TDM entails the development of irreversible processes.

Arthritis TDM is an inflammatory disease. Negative factors that can provoke its development are hypothermia, hormonal changes, and nervous system pathologies. Dysfunction of TDM leads to the emergence of such dangerous pathologies as chronic arthritis and then arthrosis of the joint.

Experts categorically do not recommend warming the diseased joint if the cause of the pain is unknown. With dysfunction, heat exposure can lead to some relief of the condition, and with dislocation, on the contrary, it will hurt.

While holding the tongue under a hard palate, place one finger in the joint area and the other on the chin. Lower your lower jaw entirely and lift it back up. Another exercise option is placing one finger on each TDM, lowering the lower jaw completely, and then lifting it back up.

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