TMJ Disorders

TMJ Pain

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Dr. Jungels can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.

Trouble with Your Jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the cushion of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

The more times you answered “yes,” the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.

TMJ Treatments

There are various treatment options that the Doctors can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Jungels will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care joined with professional care.

The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasm and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:

1. Resting your jaw
2. Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
3. Eating soft foods
4. Applying ice and heat
5. Exercising your jaw
6. Practicing good posture.

Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint or nightguard fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night and helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relives pressure on parts of your jaw and aids in disk repositioning. It may be worn 24 hours/day to help your jaw heal. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 or just at night to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help to protect from tooth wear.

When Bite Correction or Surgery Are Indicated

If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together, you may need treatment such as 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 needed but are reserved for severe cases. The Doctors do not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw cannot open, is dislocated and nonreducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.

Atlantic Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

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I recommend them , A+++

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Happy with the care I received!

- Gillian M

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Staff was very caring and friendly. Dr. Jungles made me feel calm and as comfortable as possible during procedure.

- Cheryl S

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Excellant doctor and staff made me feel very relaxed

- joe nigro n

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Doctor Jungles explained condition and what to expect with the surgery and recovery.
All options were presented and insurance coverage and co-pays explained with no “surprise” additional fees.
Surgery out come was excellent.
I highly recommend Dr. jungles and his entire staff was wonderful!

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I was refered to this Dr. and I can only say that I need to thank that person because this office was a complete joy.

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Everything was great. Two convenient locations too.

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Great job, quick, and barely any pain after all four removed.

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Excellent surgery and friendly staff. I had my wisdom teeth removed and recovery was smooth. Thank you, Dr. Jungels and staff for making me feel very safe and in good hands.

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I had gastric bypass surgery years ago, an after effect is that my teeth have began to fall apart, I was able to make an appointment, be seen, and have the bad teeth removed all within a week, I will be following up for the remainder of my teeth and would trust no one else!

- Stanley G.

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I was in severe pain for over a year with exposed roots and nerves, I went here and in one appointment the teeth were removed as well as impacted wisdom teeth, I have severe anxiety and they took care of that with local sedation, I am now home recovering and can not wait until the extraction pain goes away so I can see how my new mouth feels

- Stanley G.

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Quite amazing, actually. As professional, courteous and efficient as one could imagine.

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I was very pleased with my experience.

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I had a great experience. I was so scared and anxious about the whole procedure. The doctor and his staff helped ease that a lot

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Great office, I would recommend them to anyone seeking a pleasant and calm experience.

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Outstanding. Thank you.

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Would definitely recommend. Polite, friendly , professional staff.

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I was very pleased with my experience.

- Stephen

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Great experience, smooth operation

- Brett

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Very pleasent experience. Removal went quickly without any problems!

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