New York City cosmetic dentist Dr. David Blaustein offers treatment for jaw locking & popping, migraines, neck pain and other side effects of TMJ. His Chelsea office is conveniently reached from Midtown Manhattan, Flatiron, Gramercy, Hell’s Kitchen, the Meat Packing District, Greenwich Village and more.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) occurs when there is injury to the joint connecting the jaw bone to the skull and the surrounding nerves.
TMJ symptoms may include:
- Tooth aches
- Earaches or tinnitus
- Chronic migraine headaches
- Face, neck, shoulder and/or back pain
- Jaw popping, clicking, sticking or locking
- Difficulty biting, chewing and/or swallowing
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
The precise cause isn’t always obvious, but sometimes TMJ can be traced back to a car accident involving whiplash, a striking blow from an athletic activity, habitual tooth grinding or jaw clenching, tumors, infection, natural structural deformities, or arthritis. When home treatments like taking anti-inflammatories, using hot/cold packs, eating soft foods and resting do not offer relief, you may seek treatment from a health care professional like Dr. Blaustein, an NYC dentist specializing in TMJ treatment.
Why see a dentist for TMJ treatment?
There is no specialized field of medicine or certification that addresses TMJ directly, although a variety of health care providers can bill themselves as “TMJ specialists.” Finding the right care can be difficult, but the National Institutes of Health recommends finding a health care provider who treats pain and understands complex musculoskeletal disorders. Complex cases may require a team of neurologists, rheumatologists and pain management consultants, in addition to your general practitioner or family dentist.
There are several key benefits of seeing a dentist for TMJ treatment:
- Physicians often misdiagnose TMJ because it shares symptoms with sinus issues, arthritis and migraine disorder.
- Dentists understand the relationship between the joints, tendons, nerves and bones that control the jaw.
- A dentist can correct malocclusion (incorrect bite), which may be a contributing factor to your symptoms.
- A dentist can make a custom splint that protects the teeth if you have a habit of grinding them at night.
- Dr. Blaustein’s office is equipped with advanced dental technology necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
- We will explore alternative therapies beyond the typical prescription medication or invasive surgery.
What can a dentist do for TMJ sufferers?
Once diagnosed through the use of MRI or CT Scan and a physical exam, we’ll pursue “least is best” treatment for your disorder. Dr. Blaustein seeks to heal the pains of TMJ through the least invasive methods that will still be effective.
Most TMJ treatments are simple enough to be done at home, without the need for surgery. They include:
- Appliance Therapy: Custom night splints and mouth guards are two common modalities of treatment that have yielded great results. A splint reduces stress on the jaw, allows optimal muscle functioning, and removes interferences to joint-socket movement. This therapy is ideal for people who involuntarily clench or grind their teeth in the night, as the appliance limits abnormal mouth movements.
- Bite Correction: Orthodontics, restorations or equilibration (reshaping the top surfaces of the teeth) are all methods of correcting an improper bite that has been contributing to pain and dysfunction. Dr. Blaustein specializes in sedation dentistry to relax you completely during more invasive mouth, tooth, or jaw restoration work.
What does TMJ treatment cost?
The cost of TMJ treatment when orthodontics, custom splint, or appliance therapy is involved may vary. Depending on the type of dental insurance you have, your provider may cover 15 to 50 percent of the total treatment expense. Chelsea Dental Aesthetics offers a variety of payment plans and financing options.