New York City’s TMJ Experts
When your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and its surrounding muscles are healthy, your lower jaw moves efficiently for talking, biting, and chewing. Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) can result from grinding your teeth, biting your nails, poor posture, or a misaligned bite. TMJ can also impact other areas of your mouth and create stiffness in your jaw, temples, or ears, and a loss of jaw range of motion. Many patients also complain of clicking or cracking while opening or closing their mouths. At Pivotal Physical Therapy, we specialize in returning a range of motion to your jaw without creating pain or discomfort. No matter your age or your health, we’ll ensure you feel relief.
Understanding TMJ and TMD is critical to starting your treatment. At PivotalPT we help answer your questions regarding these joint disorders in the hopes that you’ll seek treatment at our office. If you’ve been suffering from this issue for a long time, get the answers you need from a physical therapist’s point of view. We provide comprehensive services to all of our patients and aim to have you pain-free after our sessions. Scroll below to see answers to some of the most common questions regarding TMJ and TMD.
What is TMJ?
The term TMJ is actually a misnomer. Your temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull and is abbreviated as TMJ. This joint allows your jaw to move up and down so you can chew, talk, yawn, and move it from side to side. When you have problems with this joint, it is referred to as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Routinely, these disorders are incorrectly referred to as TMJ, which is the joint itself.
What Causes TMJ?
Unfortunately, it is not fully understood what causes TMD When you suffer trauma to your head and neck area via whiplash or a heavy blow, this can cause TMD, but other reasons can include a parafunctional habit such as grinding your teeth or craning your head forward to view a computer monitor or a physiological condition such as arthritis of the TMJ. In addition, movement of the disc between the joint’s ball and socket can also cause problems. Finally, when you find yourself stress can be a problem. Many people unconsciously clench their jaw and ace muscles, which can put pressure on the surrounding joints resulting in TMD and/or facial pain.
Can TMD be Cured?
TMD disorders can be mitigated or eliminated in a variety of ways, and the team at PivotalPT has a suite of options available. From manual techniques to Home Exercise Programs and manual techniques, we take a holistic approach to TMD In addition, we can recommend dental professionals who can provide you with medications and mouth guards to help with teeth grinding. We have no financial interest in any professional we recommend, they are individuals whom we believe can help our patients.
How Does Physical Therapy Help with TMD?
Physical therapy provides solutions that don’t require surgery or downtime. We have seen patient’s get significant relief through education, manual techniques, and adherence to a Home Exercise Program. At PivotalPT we tailor the treatment to your specific case.
Are TMJ and TMD The Same Thing?
Although TMJ is often used as a stand-in for a TMJ disorder, the proper terminology for a problem with the temporomandibular joint (“TMJ”) is temporomandibular dysfunction (“TMD”).
Does TMJ Cause Neck, Ear, or Tooth Pain?
Yes, TMJ can certainly cause pain in all of these areas. The joint in your jaw is interconnected to other parts of your neck and head area, and pressure and discomfort can quickly spread to other areas. At PivotalPT, we are mindful of the interconnectedness of the human body and seek to provide solutions that help your entire body feel better. This is why a “holistic” approach is so important to decreasing pain and increasing function resulting from TMD
Contact the TMJ experts in New York today.
Symptoms of TMJ and TMD Dysfunction
The causes of TMJ or TMD disorder can range from genetics to arthritis to a jaw injury. The symptoms, however, are quite common and can be summarized as:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Pain in your temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around your ears
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- A clicking sound or grating sensation when opening your mouth
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment as quickly as possible. We can diagnose the discomfort you’re feeling and offer quality therapies that will relieve your pain. Don’t let TMJ and TMD adversely affect your quality of life. Contact our team today to schedule an appointment.
Effective TMJ Treatments
Whether your symptoms of TMJ stem from poor posture, muscular tension, joint stiffness, or disc compression, we offer exceptional therapies, treatments, and medications that will relieve your symptoms and help you better manage your pain. Common therapies we offer in our clinic include:
- Targeted massage of your jaw and neck muscles
- Muscle realignment and re-education
- Prescribed pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories
- Mouth guards (occlusal appliances)
- Ambulatory counseling
- and more
We’ll help you understand what’s causing the discomfort, how best to avoid it, and how to live an active lifestyle with as little discomfort as possible. We have over 30 years of experience providing TMJ relief to our patients, and we’ll strive to give you quality care and real results. At Pivotal Physical Therapy, you can count on personalized care, quality treatments, and the highest level of service.