To begin, TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint” – which is your jaw joint. Each of us have two – a right and a left. A TMJ Disorder (sometimes called TMJ syndrome) is a medical condition relating to the function of one (or both) of your jaw joints.
TMJ Disorder symptoms may include:
Dr. Joseph Sciarrino of the Strawberry Hill Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center has spent three decades specializing in the treatment of TMJ Disorders.
If experience matters, as of course it should, kindly phone us today at (203) 967-3707 to set up a consultation. Or, if after hours, kindly CLICK HERE and complete our simple form.
Each of the above requires a different (and specific) treatment. While symptoms are often similar, only a thorough examination utilizing 3D Imaging will allow us to diagnose your particular disorder. We can then personalize a treatment plan designed to ensure an optimally functional outcome, with maximum aesthetic results. Dr. Joseph Sciarrino is a highly specialized and skilled surgeon specializing in the treatment of TMJ Disorders.
In a minority of cases, TMJ problems are caused by an impact to the face, or arthritis of the jaw joint. More commonly, TMJ pain is linked to genetic predisposition and stress. High stress professions (lawyers, physicians, CEO’s, traders, etc.) are at a higher risk of developing a TMJ Disorder. Said stress can lead to teeth clenching and grinding, and associated head, neck and/or shoulder pain. In a small percentage of cases (less than 5%), TMJ appears to occur as a result of a problem with a patient’s bite or occlusion – possibly a result of teeth growing into a suboptimal position (affecting the bite), or as a result of braces or orthodontics. TMJ pain is roughly four times more common in women than it is in men.
We typically diagnose TMJ Disorders by performing a thorough and detailed examination, which will likely include a 3D scan of your jaw joints. We will look for evidence of TMD on your teeth, gums and tongue. We may measure the range of motion of your lower jaw. In addition, we may palpate the muscles of the head, neck and shoulders to determine levels of tenderness.
TMJ pain can sometimes be sporadic. For those who infrequently experience jaw joint problems, pain can disappear without any treatment. When stress has been the catalyst, stress management (meditation, yoga, gentle stretching and massaging of the jaw joint muscles, etc.) may be the indicated self-care that can help you eliminate stress-related TMJ pain. Once stress diminishes, often teeth grinding and clenching follow suit. If you fall into this category, you should avoid chewing gum and opening your mouth excessively wide. The application of heat or ice packs may also help lessen TMJ pain.
Once a thorough and detailed examination confirms a diagnosis of a TMJ disorder, we can determine the proper course of treatment. There are various treatment options we can utilize to improve the function and symmetry of your jaw. You may require bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics (with or without jaw reconstruction), or restorative dental work. Surgical options such as arthroscopy and “open joint repair restructuring,” are sometimes required, but are typically reserved only for severe cases.
Do you have a TMJ Disorder?
The more times you answer “yes” to any of the above, the more likely it is you have a TMJ disorder. If you or someone you know is struggling with TMJ-related pain, please contact our team immediately to schedule an appointment. Kindly phone us at (203) 967-3707 to schedule. If after hours, CLICK HERE and complete our simple form.
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