TMJ Disorder

Adler Dental Group

General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Brooklyn, New York, NY

Researchers estimate that about 12% of Americans are living with a TMJ disorder. Though common, without early intervention and treatment, TMJ can affect your oral health and quality of life. At Adler Dental Group in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, Robert Adler, DDS, and the team offer safe, effective treatment for TMJ disorders. To make an appointment, call the office in Brooklyn, New York City, or book online today.

TMJ Disorder Q&A

What is a TMJ disorder?

A TMJ disorder occurs when your temporomandibular joint –– the joint that connects your jaw to your skull –– spasms or becomes stiff or immobile. 

Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes TMJ disorder, but several factors may contribute to you developing the condition, including anxiety, genetics, lifestyle factors, underlying medical conditions, and an unbalanced bite. 

What are the symptoms of a TMJ disorder?

Common symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the ears - ringing and stuffy ears (the feeling of water in the ear)
  • Difficulty chewing and biting
  • Aching facial pain

If you have a TMJ disorder, you might experience clicking or popping noises whenever you open your mouth to speak or yawn. 

When should I visit a dentist about a TMJ disorder?

Almost everyone experiences jaw pain on occasion, but if your symptoms worsen or interfere with your ability to eat, speak, or maintain good oral hygiene, don’t wait to contact Adler Dental Group. The sooner we pinpoint the underlying cause of your symptoms, the sooner we can take steps to encourage your body’s natural healing process.

Who is at risk of a TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorders affect people of all ages, races, and genders, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Oral trauma, like a car accident or sports injury
  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw clenching

You might also develop TMJ if you’re living with a connective tissue disease like Lupus.  

How is a TMJ disorder diagnosed?

To diagnose a TMJ disorder, we conduct an oral exam and ask about your symptoms, including when they started, how often they occur, and if they’re worse during certain times of the day, like after eating or when you first wake up in the morning.

Then, we take a series of X-rays, assess your jaw’s strength and range of motion, and gently press on your jaw to identify areas of swelling or discomfort. If these measures don’t provide enough information, our team might also order a tomography (CT) scan or an MRI.

How is a TMJ disorder treated?

Treatment of a TMJ disorder depends on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause. Typically, Adler Dental Group recommends conservative treatments like heat application, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication. If your symptoms continue or worsen, you might benefit from physical therapy, a custom mouthguard, or a custom night guard.

In rare instances, surgical intervention may be necessary, but only if all other methods of care fail to provide adequate relief.

To learn more about treatment for a TMJ disorder, make an appointment at Adler Dental Group by calling the office or booking online today.