Effective Treatments for TMJ Disorder

TMJ pain

Rather akin to a large hinge that links the skull with the jawbone, the temporomandibular joint, commonly referred to as TMJ, is susceptible to a number of problems able to produce severe pain in both the joint itself and the surrounding muscles.

If you are among those suffering from a tempomandibular disorder (TMJ), you know just how uncomfortable daily life can be. The good news is that many effective remedies exist, and Suffolk County dentists Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot provide a comprehensive evaluation of your specific situation and can recommend TMJ dental treatments, including surgical interventions designed to alleviate your ongoing discomfort once and for all.

Key symptoms of TMJ disorder

TMJ disorders can be characterized by a number of symptoms. However, it can be difficult to accurately diagnose the problem as stemming from a TMJ issue, largely because typical symptoms are similar to those resulting from other known conditions. Nevertheless, common hallmarks of TMJ disorders include noticeable pain in the jaw and/or face that radiates to the ear, headaches and pressure behind the eyes, muscle tenderness, facial swelling, dizziness, shoulder pain, jaw that locks or gets stuck and/or a clicking sound when mouth is opened. Some sufferers also notice that their bite suddenly feels awkward or uncomfortable, as though the teeth are no longer fitting together correctly.

Suspected causes of TMJ disorder

It is difficult for dentists to pinpoint the exact cause of TMJ disorders, but it is thought that symptoms generally arise due to issues with the jaw itself or with the muscles responsible for helping it function. Injury to the joint, or even to the muscles in the neck and head can result in TMD. Common causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • Habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth resulting in excessive pressure on the jaw joint
  • Displacement of the cushioning disc sitting between the socket and ball of the jaw
  • Stress-induced tightening of jaw and facial muscles
  • Arthritis within the jaw joint itself

Identifying the reason for a particular case of TMJ disorder can be extremely helpful in determining the course of treatment most likely to produce an optimal outcome.

Treating TMJ disorder successfully

For many TMJ disorder patients, symptoms will improve over time without substantial intervention, and therefore conservative treatment plans can be successful. However, for others battling this condition, more targeted procedures, including surgical ones, may be indicated.

In certain situations, treatment with medication can prove extremely helpful, particularly the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants. Other patients may benefit from having a splint made to fit over the teeth, preventing the upper and lower sets of teeth from coming together in a clench. Such devices can alleviate pressure on the jaw and surrounding muscles, helping the area heal.

If the above, less-invasive techniques fail to produce the desired relief, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be utilized to relax the facial muscles and the jaw, thus reducing pain. Ultrasound deep heat treatments on the affected area may also help alleviate the discomfort in some cases. Trigger-point injections can be used to place anesthetic or pain relief medication directly into impacted muscles, and many patients find this to be effective.

Finally, in patients for whom no other TMJ disorder treatment has produced sufficient results, there are surgical options which may help. This is often the case for those affected by structural issues with the jaw joint itself. Dentists have the option of performing arthroscopic surgery under general anesthesia or open joint surgery. In very severe cases of TMJ disorder, a full joint replacement may the necessary in order to achieve full relief from symptoms.

TMJ disorder treatment in Suffolk County

Because every case of TMJ disorder is unique, with its own set of precipitating factors and symptoms, it is essential for anyone suffering from facial and jaw pain to consult with a dental professional. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot possess vast experience in getting the root of TMJ disorders and formulating successful treatment plans.

If you would like more info on TMJ dental treatment in Long Island, we invite you to schedule a free consultation in our Suffolk County office by calling 631-296-0602.

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Sarah May

Dental Treatments Help Relieve Migraine Headaches

smiling Long Island cosmetic dentists

After a cold winter, many Long Islanders welcome the first signs of spring. Yet, for some, the weather fluctuations associated with the season can inflict unbearable migraine headache symptoms. However, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) urges migraine suffers to look beyond the typical causes of migraines and consider whether dental health may be contributing to these problems.

At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we encourage new and current patients to be proactive about their wellness. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot offer consultations to migraine headache patients on Long Island to explore whether dental treatments may help.

Assessing your migraine symptoms

If you have some of the following problems, you could be suffering from migraines caused by oral health issues. At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we often see patients with the following symptoms.

  • Sore or painful jaw muscles, particularly first thing in the morning or after chewing crunchy foods
  • Jaw pain that makes it difficult to open the mouth fully, speak, bite, or chew food.
  • Upper body pain, particularly in the shoulder or trapezius area.
  • Headaches that tend to be localized to the back of the neck or the temples
  • A clicking, grinding, or popping sound of the jaw
  • The feeling that your bite pattern has changed or isn’t normal

Even if you don’t experience these symptoms associated with the jaw, you might notice the following problems:

  • Reddening, swelling, or tenderness of the gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially while brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth
  • A receding gum line
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Bad breath even after brushing the teeth

Identifying the possible culprits

If you experienced any of the first set of symptoms, you might find relief of your migraine headaches by treating your temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD, often called TMJ).

It’s not uncommon for people to clench their jaws or grind their teeth, particularly when they’re under a great deal of stress. In fact, you might not even notice that you’re doing it, since teeth grinding, known as bruxism, often occurs during sleep. Although it may seem counterintuitive that problems of the jaw could lead to headaches, the two health concerns are closely linked. “This creates muscle tension in the head and neck area and in turn nerve stimulation leading to headaches,” says Dr. Jack Ringer, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
If left untreated, TMJ can lead to additional dental complications, such as chipped or broken teeth.

Migraine headache treatment for Long Island residents

When patients come in to Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry with any of the second set of symptoms, our Suffolk County cosmetic dentists can evaluate them for possible gum disease, an oral infection. Gum disease can also cause migraine headaches. Fortunately, if the problem is detected early enough, gum disease can be resolved with relatively minor treatment.

If you suffer from migraine headaches, don’t delay getting the treatment you need to improve your quality of life. You can arrange your free consultation by calling 631-296-0602.

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Jacky Gale

Headache Treatment Offers Relief for Migraine Sufferers on Long Island

lady smiling with lumineers

The statistics on migraine headaches, one of the world’s most misunderstood illnesses, are staggering. Did you know that 36,000,000 men, women, and children are migraine sufferers and that 14,000,000 of those suffer from chronic headaches every day?

Did you also know that migraines run in families? If a mother or father suffers from migraines, there’s a 40% chance that their children will suffer as well. If both parents get migraines, the probability of a child suffering from migraines in that family jumps to 90%!

During childhood, boys are affected by migraines more than girls, but during the teen years when estrogen influence begins in young girls, the risk of migraine and its severity rises in females, with approximately 27 million women migraine sufferers in the US, a three to one female to male ratio.

Migraine ranks in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses, and in a fast paced workplace where our value is often based on our productivity, more than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine, which can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. The economic impact of migraine is enormous. American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost work days due to migraine.

Long Island migraine headache treatment

Sadly, despite the prevalence and terrible impact of migraine headaches, it remains one of the most misdiagnosed and undertreated illnesses. In fact, only 4% of migraine sufferers seek out the help of pain or headache specialists. A basic understanding of the architecture of the head can help clarify why headache pain specialists like Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick are uniquely placed to offer life-changing relief from migraines.

The trigeminal nerve channel is the pathway through which the brain, sinuses, and jaw deliver sensory information. It’s also the signaling pathway for pain from dental surgery, periodontal discomfort, and pain linked to trigeminal neuralgia and and additional neuropathic and inflammatory problems, including migraine.

Teeth clenchers and teeth grinders subject their teeth and jaws to severe pressure, particularly at night, triggering intense stimulation of the trigeminal nerve, which in turn, causes frequent and often debilitating headaches.

FDA approved NTI tension suppression system can often give overnight pain relief

Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick are headache dentists and pain specialists who can fit you with the only non-drug, non-surgical method of migraine prevention approved by the FDA, the NTI-tss.

Used by more than a half million satisfied customers worldwide, the NTI-tss is a tiny custom-fitted device that snaps into place and sits painlessly on either the upper or lower front teeth. People who suffer from morning headaches wear the NTI-tss while they sleep, preventing any contact between the back teeth, which is known to be a trigger for migraines.

There’s also a more discreet version for daytime use. The NTI-tss is so effective that in clinical trials, 82% of migraine sufferers reported nearly an 80% reduction in migraine headache episodes within the first eight weeks of use. The NTI-tss can also help temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) sufferers.

NTI-tss is affordable and effective

Prices for the NTI-tss device can range from $175 to $1200 to achieve a quality of life and level of relief that can be considered priceless. Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry can help you find an affordable way to give you the relief you need from your headache suffering.

Call Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick today at 631-744-5700 for a consultation if you’re suffering from migraines or morning headaches. It is not unusual for some patients to report immediate overnight relief, while others experience much wanted help in one to several weeks.

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Steve Cid