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Smithtown Dentist | Smithtown dental care | NY | Joint Pain and TMD

2500 Nesconset Highway
Building 11A
Stony Brook, NY 11790
(631) 751-7171

Joint Pain and TMD


Could You be Suffering from TMD?

The  temporomandibular  joints, also known as the TMJ’s are located just in front of the ear on both sides of your jaw and are one of the most complex joints in the human body.  These joints along with muscles and   ligaments make it possible to move the jaw while you eat, speak, and swallow.  Any problem with this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bone that causes them not to function properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder.  There are over 10 million Americans suffering from TMD, and although both men and women are affected, women of child bearing age are most often affected. Symptoms may include pain in or around the ear, head or neck aches, tenderness of the jaw, and clicking or popping when the jaw opens and closes.  There are many possible causes for TMJ pain, including injuries to the head, neck or jaw, arthritis, and bite problems.   There are many possibilities for the origin of the pain, that is why it is important to see the  dentist for  her to better identify the cause and prescribe treatment.  Depending on how serious the case is,  treatment may range from stress-reducing exercises to wearing a night guard to prevent teeth grinding. If you feel you are suffering from TMD, please get it evaluated as soon as possible.

iStock_000010826377Small.jpg TMJ is the acronym for temporomandibular joint, which connects your lower jaw (the mandible) to your skull at the temporal bone. This joint controls many jaw functions, like chewing. If the chewing muscles or the joint itself are causing you pain you may have temporamandibular disorder, or TMD. TMD can be caused by stress, continual clenching of the jaw muscles, or teeth grinding.

Some of the symptoms of TMD are:

  • Pain when opening or closing mouth
  • Trouble chewing
  • Jaw becoming stuck open or shut
  • Headaches or ear pain
  • Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth
  • Teeth Grinding

Many of these symptoms can often be associated with other health problems, so only a medical professional can tell you if it is due to TMD. Teeth grinding is an especially problematic symptom because it can lead to further problems. Prolonged teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause enamel to wear off teeth and expose dentin. This material is softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink may also develop from excessive teeth grinding.

If you suspect you may have TMD come in for a consultation. We can help diagnose you and provide relief for your symptoms. Pain relievers and hot/cold compresses are short term methods to provide relief for pain symptoms. A night guard can be used to help prevent or lessen the effects of teeth grinding at night. This can lead to a more permanent solution. In very severe cases of TMD surgery may be required, but behavioral treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.


Smithtown Dentist | Joint Pain and TMD. Dr. Sheri Glazer is a Smithtown Dentist.