TMJ Pain

Bar and Smith Dental

General Dentists & Cosmetic Dentists located in Upper East Side & Kips Bay, New York, NY

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) allow you to chew, yawn, and speak clearly. However, a TMJ disorder can make it painful or nearly impossible to perform any of these basic, day-to-day functions. At Bar and Smith Dental, on Kips Bay and the Upper East Side of New York City, Isaac Bar, DMD, and Tyler Smith, DMD, regularly diagnose and treat patients who are suffering from TMJ pain. If you’re tired of living with jaw pain, call or make an appointment online today.

TMJ Pain Q & A

What causes TMJ disorders?

Doctors and researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and pain, but a variety of factors are thought to play a role. For example, the alignment and overall strength of your jaw bones, TMJ joints, and surrounding muscles can impact mobility. 

Other factors that contribute to TMJ disorders include:

  • Teeth grinding or bruxism
  • An injury to your jaw
  • Chronic inflammatory arthritis
  • Chewing gum on a regular basis
  • Poor posture
  • Anxiety and emotional stress

Research also shows that women are more likely to experience TMJ pain than their male counterparts. 

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

Your temporomandibular joints connect your jawbone to your skull and serve as a hinge. Although there are a variety of TMJ disorders, they all share a similar symptom: difficulty opening or closing your mouth. 

Other telltale signs associated with TMJ disorders include:

  • Ear pain
  • A change your teeth’s alignment
  • Audible clicks or pops whenever you open or close your mouth
  • Persistent tension or migraine headaches

TMJ disorders affect everyone differently; sometimes they’re felt only one side of the face, other times they affect both.

What kind of treatments are available for TMJ disorders?

In the majority of cases, TMJ disorders result due to an obvious underlying cause and resolve within a few months. However, it’s important to address any type of jaw pain that’s persistent or interfering with your overall quality of life.

Following a thorough oral exam, review of your medical history, and discussion of your symptoms, your dentist at Bar and Smith Dental can walk you through a series of at-home therapies and simple lifestyle changes that ease muscle tension and provide relief. 

If you grind your teeth, your dentist can prescribe a night guard or special mouthpiece to wear while you sleep. A night guard fits comfortably over your teeth and prevents them from rubbing up against one another.

Your dentist can also provide insights on better managing your stress levels and practicing good posture. Although these factors may seem unrelated, they directly impact the comfort and function of your jaws. 

If you’re having trouble opening and closing your mouth, or you’re experiencing unexplained facial pain, call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.