Michael Kampourakis D.D.S. provides TMJ treatment for patients in Commack, NY; Smithtown, NY; and surrounding Suffolk County, NY communities. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) consists of the muscles, bones, and tissues that control chewing. Disorders of this joint are known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
When the jaw clicks or pops during eating or speaking or there is pain in the jaw, it can indicate a TMJ disorder. There are a few options for treating the problem that range from noninvasive therapies to surgical procedures, depending on the severity of the condition. It is important to treat the problem or it could lead to muscle pain, headaches, malocclusion or damage to the teeth, which can happen due to clenching or grinding the teeth.
This is not a single disorder, but several disorders that affect the temporomandibular joint. According to the U.S National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, approximately 12% of the population of the United States have a form of TMD, making it the second most common musculoskeletal condition that causes pain. The condition is more common in women, but only one in three people with the problem seek treatment.
Common Questions About TMD Disorders
Do I need this treatment?
If you suspect that you have TMJ disorder, you should visit your dentist for an evaluation to determine the seriousness of the problem and get the best treatment option for your unique situation. Generally, dentists prefer to start off with more conservative therapies before moving on to more invasive procedures, such as injections in the joint or surgical procedures.
What does treatment entail?
TMJ treatment options can vary widely, but there are a few things that most patients can do to facilitate healing. For some patients, sleeping on their backs at night can be helpful and most people will be advised to try to avoid yawning, yelling, and other sudden jaw movements, which can cause pain and are counterproductive to the healing process.
Are there post care instructions for patients with TMJ disorders?
The instructions vary widely, depending on the type of treatment and unique needs of each patient. After surgery, most people need to maintain a liquid-only diet after the procedure and use ice to minimize swelling. As with any surgery, you will be advised to keep the area clean and dry and contact the dentist if there are any problems.
If you want to schedule an appointment or have questions about TMJ treatment or any of the procedures we offer for our patients in Commack, NY; Smithtown, NY; and Suffolk County, NY, please contact our office at 631-462-2810.