TMJ

Robert Zarabi, DDS

Restorative & Dental Surgeon located in Midtown East, New York, NY

TMJ involves complications and pain of the jaw hinge joint. It’s a problem that affects millions of Americans and the symptoms go beyond a painful jaw and include headaches and neck pain. Dr. Robert Zarabi is a skilled dentist in Midtown East, New York, who’s been treating patients with TMJ for many years. Dr. Zarabi devises individualized treatment plans because he knows every patient is different. If you have jaw pain and believe you’re dealing with TMJ or bruxism – the excessive grinding and clenching of your teeth that can lead to TMJ – visit Dr. Zarabi and his compassionate dental staff. Call the office or book your consultation online today.

TMJ Q & A

What is TMJ?

Problems with your temporomandibular joint – the hinge joint that connects your temporal skull bones to your jaw – are referred to as TMJ, or TMD, for temporomandibular disorder.

This hinge joint allows you to move your jaw from side to side and up and down, and it allows you to talk, yawn, and chew your food.

What causes TMJ?

There isn’t a definitive cause of TMJ. Some dentists and experts point to jaw muscle or bone complications from a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Accident, injury, or trauma to your head, neck, or jaw, such as whiplash
  • Arthritis in the joint and underlying inflammation from numerous medical conditions
  • Stress that can lead to clenching the jaw or tightening the facial and jaw muscles
  • Grinding or clenching teeth and putting pressure on the joint; this often happens unknowingly when people are sleeping

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

The hallmark symptom of TMJ is moderate to severe pain and discomfort in the jaw hinge joint and immediate surrounding area.

TMJ afflicts women more commonly than men and it’s also more common in younger adults and people between the ages of 20 and 40.

Other symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Earaches
  • Hearing difficulty
  • Ringing in the ears – tinnitus
  • Swelling in the face around the jaw
  • Problems when trying to open your mouth wide
  • Jaws that become stuck in locked jaw – either when the mouth is open or closed
  • Clicking, popping, and grating sounds coming from the jaw joint during movement
  • Pain and tenderness stemming from the hinge joint and spreading to the neck, shoulders, and the ears

Bruxism, or the grinding of teeth, is a common cause of TMJ and many people find they’re subconsciously grinding their teeth due to anxiety.

What are the treatments for TMJ?

Dr. Zarabi treats TMJ in a variety of ways depending on the cause and severity. Some of the treatments include splints or night guards to prevent either nighttime or daytime bruxism, and medications, such as anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants.

Dental work is usually a successful treatment involving replacing missing teeth or using bridges, braces, or crowns to balance biting surfaces and correct your bite.

There are certain other alternative and at-home methods you can try as well. Visit Dr. Zarabi to discuss your options and find relief from TMJ. Call or book online.