Tmj-Tmd

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.

Symptoms of TMD Include:

  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
  • Swelling on the sides of the face
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw area
  • A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
  • Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth

Should you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know. Your dentist can help indicate the presence of TMD and create an effective treatment just for you.

There are a few simple steps you can take at home or work to prevent TMD from becoming more severe, or to prevent it from occurring:

  • Relax your face — remember the rule: "Lips together, teeth apart"
  • Avoid grinding your teeth
  • Avoid constant gum chewing
  • Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver in your hand
  • Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
  • Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
  • Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared

Call our expert team at (212) 371-1414 or contact us online for more information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your teeth may feel fine, but it's still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile's appearance is important, and your dentist can help keep your smile healthy and look beautiful. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today's dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:

    • Professional teeth whitening
    • Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
    • Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers
    • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once!
    • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
    • Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
    • Don't be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
    • Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.
  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year of age. During this time, your child's baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child's first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.
  • Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Often considered necessary for complete oral health, dentistry can have an impact on the health of your entire body.
  • Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:

    • Helps prevent tooth decay
    • Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
    • Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
    • Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
    • Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
    • Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!
  • A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because your dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to your doctor about what type is best for you and your teeth.

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