Dr. LoPresti offers patients in the Upper West Side and Staten Island areas with treatment for a variety of issue including TMJ treatment. Dr. LoPresti is devoted to ensuring that his patients receive the best possible treatment for TMJ disorders including physical medicine techniques, specialized night guards and pain management. Dr. LoPresti lectures locally, nationally, and internationally on the subject of TMJ disorders. He has been treating TMJ for over 30 years.
TMJ Treatment Q & A
What are TMJ disorders?
TMJ disorders are those which affect the temporomandibular joint. The TMJ discomfort is felt at this joint which acts as a hinge which connects a person’s jawbone to their skull as well as the muscles which control the joint. The precise cause of a patient’s TMJ pain is difficult to classify because it can be the result of a variety of issues including arthritis, a jaw injury, or teeth clenching and grinding. Commonly, the disorders can be treated with pain relievers and self-care. However, more serious cases may necessitate surgery.
What Types of Symptoms Are Associated with TMJ Disorders?
Commonly reported symptoms and sign of a TMJ disorder include:
- Tenderness or pain throughout jaw area
- Aching facial pain
- Pain near or in the ear
- Locking of the joint, causing difficult opening and closing
- Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
A clicking sound or grating sensation when opening and closing the mouth can also be a sign of a TMJ disorder. When the pain or tenderness persist medical attention is commonly required. A person should also consult a doctor if it becomes increasingly difficult to open and close the mouth.
How Is It Diagnosed?
The symptoms of TMJ are similar to symptoms of other conditions, so it is not always easily diagnosable. The dentist will need to take a complete dental and medical history. He will need to conduct an examination and possibly take x-rays to get a proper diagnosis.
How do you Treat a TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorders can be used with an array of options. In cases where the pain is persistent, medications and physical therapy may be needed. Typically, pain killers, muscle relaxants, and sedatives are used to help a person manage the pain. Bite guards and physical therapy also help with aligning the jaw and preventing any grinding or clenching of the teeth while asleep. In the most extreme cases, surgery can be used as well as injections of pain reliever made into the joint itself. Usually, surgery is used for those whose jaw is suffering from a structural problem.