Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a major cause of jaw pain and chronic headaches. Dr. Itzkov is a top-ranked provider of TMJ treatment, helping patients from the New Jersey Palisades area overcome symptoms with advanced care options at Gentle Dental of West New York.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder (sometimes referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD), a condition that develops when the joints on either side of the jaw become inflamed and irritated, usually as a result of an imbalanced bite. As many as 12 percent of the population has TMJ, according to data from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
TMJ can cause different symptoms, including chronic and often debilitating headaches, jaw pain and stiffness, jaw fatigue, facial pain, and clicking noises when yawning or chewing. Many patients also experience the sensation of their jaw “locking” when yawning or opening their mouths wide. TMJ is also highly associated with bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, most likely as a result of the jaw naturally seeking a comfortable position or optimal balance. Continual grinding eventually wears away tooth surfaces or causes teeth to shift, resulting in tooth pain and an increased risk of decay and even tooth loss.
Treatment of TMJ begins with a complete dental exam to determine the contributing causes to the condition. Many people with TMJ have poorly aligned teeth or missing teeth that have caused the normal bite pattern and balance to become disrupted and uneven, resulting in increased strain on the jaw and pulling the joint out of its normal alignment. In these cases, straightening crooked teeth with orthodontic care or replacing the lost teeth with implants or bridges may help. Dentures may not be as effective since they must be removed when sleeping, which is when bruxism can be most prevalent. Symptoms and side effects, like worn tooth surfaces, may also be avoided with special mouth guards or night guards worn during sleep to protect tooth surfaces while also cushioning the jaw to reduce strain that causes chronic headaches and jaw pain. Mouth guards are custom made for each patient for maximum comfort.
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Our Prevention, Diagnosis or Treatment Planning is guaranteed to be without regard to the limitations imposed by your insurance coverage.
PLEASE NOTE: we only accept commercial and PPO insurances. We DO NOT accept DMO, HMO, or government-issued insurances (i.e. Medicaid or Family Care). Please contact the office for more information.
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