What Are TMJ and TMD Disorders?

The health of your mouth isn't just about your teeth. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders and Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) are a variety of conditions around the jaw joints and surrounding muscles and ligaments.

The team at Skyline Dental Designs works with patients to relieve their ongoing headaches and assists individuals who have been experiencing tightness and aches in their jaw. We have a variety of treatments that can reduce headaches and earaches that often lead to increased anxiety, discomfort, irritability, fatigue and stress.

What Are TMJ and TMD Disorders?

TMJ and TMD disorders are a family of issues related to your jaw joint. If you have experienced symptoms such as pain, tenderness or a “clicking” sound in your jaw, you can achieve relief from your symptoms.

TMJ is an acronym used for ‘temporomandibular joint.’ Your temporomandibular joints are on both sides of your face, just in front of your ears. The TMJs connect your lower jawbone to your skull and assist in movements like chewing and speaking.

The terms TMJ and TMD are used interchangeably and a TMJ dysfunction may occur when the muscles and ligaments around your jaw joints become inflamed or irritated. The condition may be acute or chronic and the resulting pain may be mild or severe.

Patients typically develop TMJ and TMD disorders when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles do not work together in the correct way. Early detection and treatment are important. If left untreated, TMJ and TMD disorders can leave you with lasting damage.

You may experience issues with TMJ even if you have never worn braces and your symptoms can increase or decrease regardless of whether braces are worn.

TMJ can occur due to a variety of reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, or you are tightening your jaw muscles and placing strain on your TM joint due to stress. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease and as a consequence, have stretched or torn the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disc, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position.

At Skyline Dental Designs in Weehawken, we frequently treat patients who have experienced these symptoms and issues with their jaw, and as a result have developed a misaligned bite as well as a clicking, or a grating noise when opening their mouth.

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you may benefit from seeing one of our expert team in Weehawken for a TMJ assessment:

  1. Are you grinding or clenching your teeth?
  2. Do you have sore, stiff muscles around your jaws when you wake up?
  3. Do you have headaches or neck aches frequently?
  4. Do you experience heightened discomfort when you clench your teeth?
  5. Do you find you are clenching your jaw more frequently when you are stressed?
  6. Does your jaw make a clicking, popping, grating or catching sound when you open your mouth?
  7. Does your jaw lock when you open your mouth?
  8. Do you find it is an effort to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
  9. Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaw in any way?
  10. Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints in your body?
  11. Do you have teeth that do not touch when you bite?
  12. Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  13. Is it hard to use your front teeth to tear food?
  14. Do your teeth feel sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

If you notice that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you can come in for an appointment with one of our team. We can help determine if you have a TMJ or TMD disorder and create a customized treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms.

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Alternative Ways to Alleviate Jaw Discomfort

Not all jaw pain is associated with a TMJ or TMD disorder and here are several ways you can alleviate pain in your jaw.

The following preventative steps can help you maintain a healthy, strong, and pain-free smile:

  • Relax your face
  • Avoid grinding your teeth
  • Avoid all gum chewing
  • Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder. Instead, use either a headset or hold the receiver to your ear.
  • Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
  • Avoid sitting with your chin rested on your hand
  • Practice good posture — keep your head up, back and shoulders squared

However, when jaw pain or misalignment is persistent, it is important to book an appointment with Skyline Dental Designs to determine the underlying cause.

Top Family Dentist in Weehawken, NJ

Loved my experience here! The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the office is clean and beautiful. Dr. Kaplan was great - he was friendly, didn't rush anything, answered all of my questions, and did my teeth cleaning himself. Very happy to have Skyline Dental for my future dentist visits.

Diana Connolly | Verified Patient

Thank you Dr Kaplan and the staff at Skyline Dental! I had a great experience during my check-up and cleaning. Dr. Kaplan made me feel comfortable and explained dental treatments thoroughly! Skyline Dental truly makes your dentist appointments smooth sailing, (painless too) looking forward to my next visit in six months.

Jared Harris | Verified Patient

Have had a great experience with Skyline Dental. Dr. Kaplan takes time to explain what’s going on and answer any questions while the reception crew is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Never have trouble getting through to them or receiving the information I need! Definitely recommend.

Allison Posluszny | Verified Patient

I’ve had a great experience working with Dr. Kaplan and his team. Everyone has been extremely professional and great during Covid. The work Dr. Kaplan does is excellent as well. I would definitely recommend working with the team at Skyline Dental  Designs

Kyle Johnson | Verified Patient

Beautiful office, fantastic staff! Dr. Kaplan is very thoughtful and patient. Pays close attention and puts your best interests first. I never felt uncomfortable even though I had to fill so many cavities on my first appointment here. The BEST dentist!!

Emilia Gabryszewska | Verified Patient

I’m fairly new to the area and was looking for a new dentist office. I'm so glad I chose to check out Skyline! The staff is very welcoming and kind. The dentist took his time to answer all of my questions and was extremely helpful. I would highly recommend checking them out if you’re looking!

Forum S. | Verified Patient

I have been seeing Dr. Kaplan for a couple of months to correct some cavities and look into orthodontics options. I'm very pleased with this practice overall as well as with the doctor. The staff is kind and responsive, the doctor is very attentive and gives you time if you have questions. Very recommended!

Alma Rey | Verified Patient

Seamless process from start to finish. Dr. Kaplan is the most thorough dentist I've been to. He took the time to get to know me and my oral health/goals. Explained my options and treatment plan. His actual treatment (for fillings) was completely painless!

Crystal M. | Verified Patient

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Skyline Dental Designs

800 Avenue at Port Imperial Blvd. Suite 2
Weehawken, NJ 07086
(201) 268-3288

* Our office is conveniently located on Avenue at Port Imperial, directly next to the NY Waterway Weehawken Ferry Terminal. We offer free garage parking for all of our patients! We also have free curbside parking for those that may wish to park streetside.

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