Smiling Male Patient For TMJ Treatment on Long island NY 11797

TMJ Specialist in Long island NY 11797

TMJ Specialist on Long Island NY

Dr. Kate Brayman treats the pain of temporomandibular joint disorders at her practice, Kate Brayman DDS in Long Island NY. If you experience pain in the jaw, difficulty chewing, pain while chewing, or aching facial pain, contact our dental office for an appointment. The doctor can evaluate the problem and determine if a night guard for teeth grinding will relieve your pain.

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What is TMJ treatment?

TMJ Specialist on Long Island NY

Our mouths contain a great joint known as the temporomandibular (TMJ), connecting the skull and jawbone with complex movements such as opening/closing the mouth and sliding from side to side. It also enables us to enjoy life’s most basic functions like speaking, yawning, and chewing – making the temporomandibular joints one of the most significant yet intricate joints in our body.

There is a TMJ on each side of the jaw. Many patients every year are diagnosed with a TMJ disorder which requires treatment of some kind. Usually, these disorders cause pain and they may limit the movement of the jaw.

It’s usually hard to determine exactly what is causing someone’s TMJ disorder. Several things could possibly cause pain and stiffness. In some cases it’s genetic. It could also be a sign of arthritis, or it could be the result of an injury as well. One of the major probable causes is teeth grinding (bruxism). This is often caused by stress, which makes people habitually tense their muscles, including the muscles in the jaw.

In the vast majority of cases, a TMJ disorder is temporary, and you can relieve it with treatment at home. However, if the pain lasts too long and at-home treatments are not sufficient, then surgery is a last resort option. 

TMJ disorders can present themselves in several ways. Pain and discomfort might be felt on either side of the face or both, and women tend to have TMJ disorders more often than men, and it most commonly affects those between the ages of 20 and 40.

Common symptoms include pain or tenderness in the jaw, neck, face, or even shoulders. In some cases, the pain could be in the ears, especially when chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth wide. In other cases, it might be difficult to open the mouth wide, or the jaw could get stuck in place. When the TMJ gets stiff, it can cause noises from your jaw, such as clicking or popping. Even swelling can be a sign of a TMJ disorder. Other common symptoms include headaches, earaches, toothaches, and tinnitus.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a chronic condition that affects the jaw joints and muscles, leading to pain and dysfunction. Sufferers can experience three distinct categories of TMJ: 

  • Muscle-related pain or discomfort
  • Dislocation or injury in the joint
  • Arthritis that affects the temporomandibular joints

While the symptoms of TMJ can vary in severity and cause either brief or more extended discomfort, some cases may persist as chronic conditions, leaving sufferers with debilitating, long-term pain.

If any of these symptoms present themselves, there are several things you can do before bringing concerns to the TMJ dentist. A cold or warm compress can help alleviate tension and reduce pain. Sometimes simply resting the jaw can help, which means not opening it wide, and eating soft foods that are easy to chew. Massage of your jaw muscles can work, too. A relaxed jaw means having your teeth and your lips just a little bit apart. Your tongue should be resting comfortably, and your teeth should be slightly separated. 

If you try these and your pain and stiffness continue to bother you, then it might be appropriate for intervention from your TMJ dentist. A dentist will examine your jaw and possibly take x-rays to determine what might be wrong with your TMJ. After they may suggest some further treatment at home, such as extra relaxation techniques, or possibly outside help such as from a chiropractor or a physiotherapist. They also prescribe some medicine to help with any inflammation or pain. In some cases, they will suggest treatments to help with sleep since TMJ disorders are known to disrupt sleep for many people. 

If the cause of your TMJ disorder is determined to be bruxism, then a night guard might help. A night guard or a mouthguard is a clear plastic splint that fits over your teeth to protect the bottom and top from touching each other. This will prevent your teeth from being tense and will allow the joints and muscles to relax. Please take note that a sports mouthguard is different from a night guard and they don’t serve the same purpose.

If you are still suffering, then your dentist will most likely refer you to a Long Island TMJ specialist, such as a pain specialist, an oral surgeon, a periodontist, an orthodontist, or a prosthodontist. At this point, it may be that surgery is a possibility, even though it is rare. Surgery is required if your TMJ disorder has gone beyond pain and discomfort, such as if you have chronic difficulty opening your jaw, which can affect your eating and nutrition.

What are the symptoms and causes of TMJ?

Do you experience any of these symptoms in your jaw or face? These could all be signs that you suffer from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder:

  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty or pain while chewing
  • Lockjaw
  • Painful clicking or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth
  • Stiffness in the jaw muscles

A common cause of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is teeth grinding or clenching while sleeping. Another factor could be physical trauma, such as a head injury that disturbs the shock-absorbing disks at each end of the bones in this area. For older adults, arthritis developing within their temporomandibular joint may lead to related pain and discomfort symptoms.

How does Dr. Brayman treat TMJ?

A plastic dental night guard may be the answer if you suffer from TMJ. The plastic dental guard covers the upper or lower teeth, which helps eliminate clenching while you sleep, relieving painful jaw tension. 

For the most effective treatment of TMJ, Dr. Brayman offers the NTI-type night guard–a convenient and comfortable solution that fits just over your front teeth. This compact yet powerful dental appliance helps stop jaw clenching while sleeping and prevents migraine pain. The NTI is a better option for many patients than the full dental night guard.

If you’re located on Long Island, NY, particularly in the towns of Woodbury, Syosset, Oyster Bay, Huntington, Melville, or Plainview, feel free to contact us or visit our dental clinic so we can assess if you’re a good candidate for a TMJ treatment.

How Long Does TMJ Treatment Take?

How long your TMJ treatment takes depends on which treatment you need to alleviate your pain. You should be able to get relief in a couple of days with your at-home treatments, such as cold compress and massage.

Medicine can improve your symptoms almost immediately. Surgery will also alleviate pain, but it could take several months for the full reconstruction to be complete.

This would involve potentially several procedures and healing time. While surgery may provide permanent or long-term relief, at-home treatments may need to be repeated if your symptoms recur. This can be especially common for people experiencing extreme stress who grind their teeth and have tense jaw muscles.

How Much Does TMJ Treatment Cost?

What your TMJ treatment ends up costing can depend on several factors. What is causing your TMJ pain can have an impact on how much your treatment costs.

If you only need a mouthguard, then it will be relatively inexpensive. Medication is also a lower-cost way of treating a TMJ disorder.

If your TMJ dentist is more experienced and has extra training, then your treatment may cost more as well.

If your TMJ disorder requires mouth reconstruction or jaw surgery, then you can expect to pay up to $50,000.

Does Health Insurance Cover TMJ Treatments?

If you have dental or medical insurance, then there’s a good chance that you are covered for several TMJ treatments and procedures. TMJ disorder treatments are not cosmetic procedures. If there are several procedures that you need, then you may be covered for several things, but not covered for others. It’s important to discuss with your dentist’s insurance specialist to see how to make the best use of your coverage. 

Even though oral surgery is often covered by medical benefits, and other treatments are eligible for dental coverage, to best understand the coverage of your dental care plan and ensure that you can prepare for out-of-pocket expenses, it’s essential to explore all available options with a professional before making a decision.

Despite careful consideration from your insurance provider, there are rare instances when an authorized procedure might still not be covered. Fortunately, our dental office team is here to assist with alternatives like credit or financing plans if you are ever facing such a situation.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Kate Brayman DDS, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our dental office if you do not see your insurance provider listed. Please note we do not participate with DMO/HMO insurance.

kate brayman DDS Accepted dental insurance providers

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Dr. Kate Brayman