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TMJ Treatment in Locust Valley

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What is TMJ disorder?

The temporomandibular joint is an intricate collection of muscles and joints that help your mouth and jaw move normally. The function of this joint allows your mouth to open and close, contributing to your ability to speak and chew.

When an issue appears in this region, it is known as temporomandibular disorder or TMD. It’s not always clear what causes TMD, but it’s possible it can be a result of arthritis or pressure in the joint. Stress can also be a contributing factor to TMJ since it can cause you to tighten your jaw and facial muscles.

This disorder can have a negative impact on your oral health, leading to or being accompanied by jaw misalignment, teeth clenching, or teeth grinding. This is why it’s important to seek TMJ treatment early, to avoid future complications and eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms.

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Ready to begin your journey to a healthy smile?

What are the common symptoms?

To help give you a better understanding of TMJ disorder, it’s beneficial to be able to recognize the symptoms. This can help you identify the signs early and know when it’s necessary to seek a doctor’s help for treatment.

Oftentimes, one of the most noticeable signs of TMJ disorder is pain and discomfort. This will most likely be felt in the face and jaw, especially when you open your mouth or chew. However, pain may also extend to the neck and shoulders. Other symptoms include:

  • Clicking or popping sound in the jaw 
  • Difficulty chewing or biting 
  • Trouble opening mouth wide 
  • Jaw getting locked in an open or closed position
  • Hearing problems
  • Ringing in ears (tinnitus) 
  • Swelling 
  • Toothache 
  • Earache
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

TMJ can appear on one or both sides of your face. On average, TMJ is experienced by people between the ages of 20 and 40. Statistics show that it is usually more common in women than men. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it would be beneficial for you to schedule an appointment and get a proper diagnosis.

What are the treatment options for TMJ?

There are a range of treatment options available for those suffering from TMJ disorder. Some of these treatments can be done at home, while others require the assistance of a professional. Some of the most common treatment methods include:

Lifestyle Changes

Sometimes, the symptoms of TMJ can be caused or worsened by your daily habits. To help alleviate your symptoms, changing certain parts of your routine may be necessary. This can include avoiding gum or chewy foods, as well as for opting for softer foods as much as you can. Minimizing extreme jaw movements, such as yelling or singing, can also help. Hot or cold packs can be used to reduce pain throughout the day. Additionally, stress can be a major contributor to TMJ, so finding ways to reduce your stress levels can also be beneficial. 

Special Exercises

There are special exercises you can do at home for your TMJ. Doing these exercises for just five to ten minutes a day can strengthen your jaw muscles, release tension, and reduce inflammation.

Oral Devices

A variety of oral devices are available that can help to support and stabilize your joints and muscles, protect your teeth from damage, and guide your jaw into a more natural position. Some of these devices include mouthguards, oral deprogrammers, and oral splints.

Medications

Certain medications can be helpful for treating TMJ disorders. Some of these medications include anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxers.

Dr. Koster can determine which treatment is best for you. She will guide you through the process and give you the tools and information necessary to relieve your TMJ symptoms.

Meet Your Dentist

While working at several of the top cosmetic dental practices in Manhattan, Dr. Adrianne Koster developed her unique approach to dental fillings. Using modern composite fillings, she can create smiles that are both beautiful and healthy.

She has been named a “Top New York Dentist” each year since 2016 because of her:

 

  • Attention to detail and skill
  • Warm, caring, and attentive approach to patient care
  • Emphasis on comfort and satisfaction 
  • Continued study of the latest dental technology
  • Passion for changing lives
meet your dental fillings dentist at locust valley dentists new york

How often is treatment needed?

Another factor that will influence your treatment process is how well your body reacts and responds to the therapy. Do not increase the frequency of your treatments unless advised by your doctor to do so. Trying to push your body to heal quicker may actually cause more harm than good. Overall, treatment may need to be continued for weeks to even years depending on your specific case.

What to expect at your visit with Dr. Koster

When you visit Dr. Koster, she will need to run a series of tests in order to get a proper diagnosis. She will want to review your medical history, examine your jaw joints and muscles for symptoms of TMJ, and may also request X-rays if necessary. As an experienced dentist, Dr. Koster will be sure to answer any questions you may have and do her best to make you feel relaxed and comfortable during the appointment.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

What causes TMJ flare ups?

The primary causes of TMJ flare-ups are jaw clenching or teeth grinding due to stress, hormonal changes, or eating tough or chewy foods.

What will a dentist do for TMJ?

A dentist may recommend a special appliance such as a mouth guard, orthodontic care, anti-inflammatory medications, or other treatments for TMJ.

What will happen if TMJ is not treated?

If left untreated, TMJ can contribute to issues such as insomnia or malnutrition. Without proper treatment, TMJ disorder pain will persist.

Why does TMJ cause ear pain?

When TMJ inflammation becomes more widespread, it can cause pain in the ear, which is close to the temporomandibular joint.

Can a bad bite cause TMJ?

Misalignment of the teeth, sometimes called a bad bite, can cause TMJ.

Can TMJ affect balance?

Inflammation from TMJ can sometimes spread to the ear area. This can affect balance.

Can a dentist tell if you have TMJ?

An experienced and educated dentist like Dr. Koster can determine whether you have TMJ.

Can a night guard make TMJ worse?

For some patients, a night guard may actually make TMJ worse. This is because night guards do not prevent grinding or clenching, and the muscle activity may increase.

Can TMJ cause nerve pain?

Eventually, untreated TMJ can result in nerve damage and other issues.

Can massage therapy help with TMJ?

Massage therapy may be beneficial for patients with TMJ. Others may require treatments like medication, oral devices, or TMJ exercises.

Can TMJ feel like a sinus infection?

TMJ pain very frequently feels like a sinus infection, as the nerves that carry pain signals from these two areas overlap.

Can TMJ make your ears feel clogged?

TMJ can make the ears feel clogged or cause ringing in the ears due to inflammation.

Does TMJ go away?

Minor TMJ discomfort often resolves itself without requiring treatment. Ongoing or more severe TMJ symptoms should be addressed by a dentist.

Do mouthguards help with TMJ?

Mouth guards can be beneficial for some TMJ patients. Other options include lifestyle changes, medication, or exercises.

How can I prevent TMJ at night?

Reducing stress, applying a hot or cold compress, and using a night guard can help alleviate TMJ at night. Dr. Koster can recommend the best options for you.

Does drinking water help TMJ?

Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water can help prevent a TMJ symptom flare for some patients.

How do doctors fix TMJ?

Some treatment options for TMJ include recommending lifestyle changes or TMJ exercises, oral devices such as mouth guards, or medication like muscle relaxers.

Does TMJ get worse with age?

TMJ typically does get worse with age. The risk of TMJ increases dramatically between ages 20-40.

How do you get rid of TMJ headaches?

TMJ headaches can be relieved using NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

Periodontal Treatment in Locust Valley, NY

If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease, know that there are treatment options available and the sooner you get help treating this damaging disease, the better. Don’t wait to start treatments, because periodontitis isn’t waiting for you.

At Locust Valley Dentists, we create a welcoming and comfortable environment for your periodontal therapy and regular dental checkups. Our goal is to give our patients excellent dental health in a gentle and friendly way. Schedule your first appointment with us by calling 516-759-2288 or by contacting us online today.

Is Locust Valley Dentists right for you?

At Locust Valley Dentists, you always come first. We begin every appointment by listening to you. You’re encouraged to share any concerns about how your smile looks or feels.

We’ll answer your questions and review the treatment options available to you, including dental fillings.

We’ll talk about:

  • Common causes of tooth decay
  • Dangers of mercury fillings
  • Which toothbrush and floss to use
  • Proper brushing and flossing techniques
  • Why Dr. Koster’s uses a rubber dam during fillings
  • Which foods to eat to reduce your risk of cavities
  • How to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come

If you’re nervous about visiting the dentist, don’t worry.
At Locust Valley Dentists, we are known for being gentle, warm, and friendly. This will be the most relaxing and comfortable dental experience of your life! To decrease anxiety during treatment we offer our patients:

Eyewear

Headphones

Soothing music

Blankets

Aromatherapy

Location

  • Convenient office hours to fit the busiest schedules

Philosophy

  • There’s never any stress or judgment here

Office

  • Our modern, calm, and relaxing office is one of a kind

Education

  • Learn how our modern fillings improve your health and appearance

No Insurance? No problem.

Even if you don’t have dental insurance, you can still get the healthy and beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed about! At Locust Valley Dentists, we offer a variety of financing options. We’re here to answer all of your questions.

Insurance & Financing

For your filling, our office is able to work with many PPO insurance providers.

Our friendly front office team will help you file your claim and maximize your insurance benefits. If you don’t see your provider listed or if you have questions about payment options, contact our office to learn more.

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" Dr. Koster is a great dentist who is patient, attentive, and gentle.  She took the time to explain every treatment option available and made sure that all of my questions and concerns were addressed. The staff is very friendly and always willing to work around my schedule.  I would definitely recommend Dr. Koster for your dental care. "

- Jeniza K.

I love this office! Dr Koster knows what she’s doing and has great staff that are friendly and professional! What I appreciate the most is her attention to detail, looking out for my best interest and letting me know what’s happening with my health so I can take better care of myself. This Doctor is truly someone who cares about her patients!!! "

- Renee S.

Dr. Adrianne Koster is Amazing! She is caring, gentle, extremely personable, and provides exceptional dentistry. The staff is very professional and nice. Thank you! I love my new smile. "

- Maria G.

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