If you have chronic pain in your head, face, or neck you may not realize that the pain is originating from a disorder in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) of your jaw. Often, symptoms relating to this disorder can persist or go undiagnosed for years because they are similar to the symptoms of many other ailments. Because of this, general physicians outside of the dental field may have difficultly pinpointing the underlying issue and often have a hard time seeing the relationship between the pain you are suffering and the alignment of your jaw joint. This is where a TMJ specialists, also known as a neuromuscular dentist, becomes essential.
Both Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib have trained in neuromuscular dentistry, enabling them to properly diagnose and treat temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Utilizing the latest in technology and diagnostic tools, our Manhattan TMJ specialists can detect even the slightest jaw irregularities and provide swift treatment to help ease symptoms while retraining muscles to allow for long-lasting relief.
If you are experiencing jaw soreness, headaches, facial pain or any of the other painful symptoms of TMD, please call NYC Smile Design at 212-574-4660 to learn more about our neuromuscular dentistry treatments. Our TMJ specialists serve all of Manhattan, New York City and surrounding areas.
- What are the Temporomandibular Joints?
- What are the Symptoms of TMD?
- How is TMD Treated?
- BOTOX® Cosmetic for the Treatment of TMD
- Financing TMJ Disorder Treatment
- Why Choose NYC Smile Design for TMD Treatment?
The Temporomandibular Joints
The temporomandibular joints, which sit between the lower jaw and the skull on each side of the face, are highly complex joints that are under constant pressure. These joints are responsible for proper movement of the jaw and creating a balanced muscular workload on each side of your face. But when these joints become misaligned or disjointed because of stress, overuse, or trauma, they may cause a myriad of painful symptoms that can negatively affect your life.
Running through your TMJ is the trigeminal nerve, the largest of the cranial nerves. The trigeminal nerve has three main branches:
- Ophthalmic, which supplies sensation to the upper eyelids, eyebrows, forehead, and scalp
- Maxillary, which supplies sensation to the lower eyelids, cheeks, sinuses, nasal cavity, and palate
- Mandibular, which supplies sensation to the area in and around the jaw. The mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve also controls the muscles of mastication
The muscles of mastication surround the TMJ. When there is tension in these muscles, pressure is placed on the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve, which can result in instant jaw pain. Pain in one branch can create pain sensations in the others as well, producing symptoms that may seem to be completely unrelated to the jaw joint.
The TMJ specialists at NYC Smile Design understand the complexities of the jaw joint, trigeminal nerve, and surrounding muscles, and can customize a treatment plan that addresses these things to produce lasting comfort.
Symptoms of a Potential TMJ Disorder
The discomfort caused by TMJ disorders may radiate from your jaw to your cheeks, neck, shoulders, and back. Pain like that can be distracting and a major hindrance on the quality of your daily life. TMJ disorders may cause a variety of uncomfortable, even painful symptoms, such as:
- Facial pain and/or soreness
- Jaw pain and/or soreness
- Ringing, pressure, or pain in your ears
- Pain behind the eyes
- Sinus pain and pressure
- Neck and/or upper shoulder pain
- Sore teeth
- Loose teeth or teeth that feel loose
- Jaw locking when you open and close your mouth
- Numbness in the fingers and/or hands
When TMD is left untreated, these symptoms can persist indefinitely. They may also lead to changes in the posture which can, in turn, impact digestive function and cause chronic low-back pain.
If you have experienced any of the symptoms of TMD, especially if you have experienced more than one for a period of longer than two weeks, it is important that you call our Manhattan office to schedule a neuromuscular evaluation. We can detect TMJ disorders and provide swift treatment to restore alignment and produce lasting comfort.
Experienced TMJ specialists Dr. Ramin Tabib and Dr. Elisa Mello understand how intrusive these symptoms can be on your life. With extensive training and experience in their field, they have honed their neuromuscular dentistry skills, enabling them to treat our patients with the latest advanced technology and techniques.
TMJ treatment restores a harmonious relationship between your bite and the surrounding muscles, blood vessels and nerves, thereby alleviating problematic symptoms and pain.
Depending on the cause of your condition, treating TMJ disorders may require:
TMD treatment is designed to restore proper alignment while addressing underlying bite issues that may be contributing to your condition. In some cases, lifestyle changes may need to be implemented as well. Bruxism (teeth grinding), stress, and even some bite disorders can contribute to or exacerbate TMD symptoms. Stress reduction, jaw exercises, and other lifestyle modifications may be needed to truly address TMJ disorders when these factors are playing a role in your discomfort.
During your neuromuscular evaluation at our Manhattan office, we will work to uncover the underlying cause of your condition, enabling our TMJ specialists to provide treatments that are tailored to your exact needs.
A Closer Look at BOTOX® Cosmetic for TMD Treatment
Renowned as a way to restore smoother skin and create a more youthful look, BOTOX® Cosmetic can also be used as a neuromuscular dentistry application. If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, BOTOX® Cosmetic injections may help you find relief from chronic jaw and facial pain related to clenching and grinding of the jaw.
Dr. Elisa Mello is passionate about offering you the most effective and beneficial treatments and technologies. Dr. Mello received training to provide BOTOX® Cosmetic therapy for TMJ at the prestigious American Academy of Facial Esthetics where she saw first-hand the tremendous benefit this treatment could have for people suffering with TMJ pain. Other advantages of this treatment include:
- Provides rapid relief from TMJ discomfort
- May relieve chronic headaches caused by clenching and grinding
- Only a quick, single appointment is required to administer the injections
- No hospital stay or surgery is needed
- Return to work and other activities right away
- Lasts 3 to 4 months
- Re-treatment sessions will restore the effect
The first step is to determine if you are a candidate for this type of treatment, which Dr. Mello will conclude in your consultation. Dr. Mello will then gently administer a series of injections into the targeted muscles, in order to bring about a relaxation effect.
BOTOX® Cosmetic reduces the number of fibers in the muscle that is injected, safely and effectively reducing the ability of those muscles to contract, relaxing the affected area. This effect will be isolated to the specific areas of treatment. After the injections, the clenching power of the chewing muscles will be reduced, so your involuntary habit of clenching and grinding will be reduced, thereby treating the pain that comes from the habit.
Financing TMD Treatment
Many dental insurance carriers will cover the cost of TMJ therapy, even when it completed with BOTOX® Cosmetic. However, it is always a good idea to check with your carrier to ensure coverage before assuming treatment will be paid in full. If you need assistance financing your treatment, whether for lack of insurance coverage or for any other reason, we would be happy to discuss your options during your initial consultation.
We work with CareCredit®, a trusted healthcare financing company that offers plans including 0% APR and low, fixed APR for periods of three to four years. During your initial consultation we will review all TMD treatment financing options to help ensure you are able to receive the full treatment you need without breaking the bank.
TMJ disorders may take some time to correct, particularly when their cause is unknown or complex. We will work with you every step of the way to help ensure the swiftest resolution for your particular needs.
Why Choose our Manhattan TMJ Specialists?
Dr. Tabib and Dr. Mello use their knowledge and experience to give our patients comfort from the painful and limiting symptoms of TMD – and use the latest in advanced methods and technologies to do so. They will work with you every step of the way to ensure that they find the right treatment to help you live a happy, healthy life free of pain.
Committed and highly-trained, our TMJ specialists take time to understand the complete needs of each patient before beginning a treatment plan. This enables us to ensure the services being offered are safe, effective, and long-lasting. During your first appointment, we can discuss these things in greater detail to ensure you are educated and empowered as we plan your treatment.
If you think you may be suffering from TMD symptoms and are ready to start on the path toward long-term relief, please call the experienced neuromuscular dentists at NYC Smile Design at 212-574-4660 today to schedule your consultation. Our TMJ specialists proudly serve those who live in Manhattan, throughout New York City, and in all surrounding areas of NY, NJ, and CT.