The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the spot where your jaw connects to your skull to allow you to open and close your jaw easily. Sometimes the joint is injured or damaged, leading to a painful condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder (TMD). If you are experiencing pain or hearing noises when you move your jaw, schedule a consultation with dentist Dr. Natalie Scarmato to determine if you have TMD. At her practice, Natalie Scarmato, D.D.S. in New York, NY, Dr. Scarmato uses advanced equipment to diagnose and treat your TMD to relieve painful symptoms. Your treatment will be based on the cause of your TMD and your specific condition, but some options include oral appliances (mouth guard or bite splint), bite adjustment with Invisalign, dental restorations, and more.
TMD may be caused by a single injury to the jaw, chronic teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, or misalignment of the teeth (dental malocclusion). Medical conditions that may cause TMD include arthritis or a tumor in the TMJ. In some cases, the cause of TMD is unclear, but if you are experiencing symptoms, Dr. Scarmato can still diagnose and treat your jaw. Some of the most common symptoms of TMD are pain or tenderness in the temporomandibular joint, spasms in your facial muscles, feeling like your jaw is stiff or stuck, and headaches that start in front of your ears. Another symptom is hearing popping, clicking, or cracking whenever you move your jaw.
What To Expect
To help diagnose TMD, Dr. Scarmato will carefully listen and understand your concerns before performing a physical examination. During the exam, she will assess the movement of your jaw and look for signs of teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment. She will also feel the jaw and surrounding area for any tenderness and inflammation. Dr. Scarmato may want to have digital x-rays of your lower face or a bite analysis to look for underlying causes that may determine your treatment method. Based on the exam, she will go over your treatment options that may include a dental appliance (a mouth guard or bite splint), orthodontics (Invisalign or a retainer), or dental restorations (crowns, bridges, and dentures).
Along with procedures to solve the underlying cause of your TMD, Dr. Scarmato can recommend other ways to relieve pain and other symptoms at home. This includes eating softer foods, avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails, heat packs on your jaw, and relaxation techniques. Dr. Scarmato can also give you exercises to strengthen your jaw or prescribe medicine to relax your jaw muscles (and to relieve pain, anxiety, or inflammation).
Continue to attend follow-up visits so Dr. Scarmato can check the progress of your TMJ therapy. If your treatment is not helping, she may consider a different approach. Once your TMD is treated, you should continue to schedule annual dental exams to keep your mouth healthy.
Dental insurance coverage for TMJ pain diagnosis and TMD treatments will vary so we will contact your carrier to calculate your out-of-pocket costs. Whether you have dental insurance or not, Dr. Scarmato will go over cost estimates when reviewing treatment options. To help make all treatments affordable, our office accepts many payment methods and we can help you find low-interest medical financing.
Plan Your Procedure
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) makes it difficult to chew, speak, and enjoy your life. Since there are many possible causes, symptoms, and solutions for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), schedule a consultation with Dr. Natalie Scarmato at her office in New York, NY. She will give you a thorough examination before making a diagnosis and discussing treatment options. Contact the team at Natalie Scarmato, D.D.S. in Manhattan to get more information and schedule your appointment.