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Lerner & Lemongello Dentistry
5602 PGA Boulevard #201
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
Monday - Thursday: 8am - 5pm

Is Head and Neck Pain Keeping You Down? Your Mouth could be the Problem!

TMJ TreatmentThrobbing head pain and chronic tension in the neck and shoulders can keep you from feeling fully present in your life. General pain in the head, neck, jaw, or ears may inhibit your enjoyment of smiling, speaking, or eating your favorite foods. What is worse, the pain relievers you have been relying on may not be doing their job anymore, and you may not know where to turn for answers.

These are concerns that we frequently hear from patients with TMJ disorder or TMD. This oral condition can be somewhat devious and deceptive, causing symptoms that do not seem related to the mouth at all. The crafty nature of TMJ disorder makes it difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis even from a general physician or dentist, in many cases. At Lerner & Lemongello, we have the method of diagnosis and treatment that enable patients to get back to a comfortable life.

What is TMJ disorder?

The TMJ joints sit at the back of the jaw. They connect the mandible to the skull and are responsible for the varied oral movements that take place daily. TMJ disorder describes an interruption in the optimal function that may be caused by inflammation, misalignment, erosion, or other factors.

In some cases, TMJ function returns to normal after a short time of rest and, in some cases, physical therapy. This is typically reserved for instances in which overuse is the primary cause of dysfunction. When symptoms do not improve with rest and lifestyle changes, they can worsen. What begins as slight stiffness and clicking may evolve into:

  • Ringing or pain in the ears.
  • Chronic tenderness in the jaw.
  • Frequent tension headaches or migraines.
  • Immobility of the jaw, lockjaw.

Self-care may not address the cause of TMJ disorder, but your dentist can help you return to a comfortable state. In our office, we begin with a comprehensive examination that evaluates bite, the condition of restorations such as crowns and fillings, and the structure of the jaw itself.

Treatment for TMJ disorder ranges from over-the-counter medication to prescription muscle relaxers and pain relievers to physical therapy to bite guards and more. What is important is that the treatment is in line with the cause and severity of dysfunction.

Do you have unresolved jaw, head, or neck pain that may be related to your joints? Contact our Palm Beach Gardens office for your TMJ assessment and treatment.



What Is TMD?

TMD/TMJApproximately ten million Americans suffer from TMD but may not know it’s name or much about it. You or someone you love may be suffering from it and it may be affecting the quality of your life. Here are a four important things to know about TMD and how it can be treated:

  1. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), is a condition that involves the joint that attaches your jaw to your skull. It can produce painful symptoms such as jaw pain, neck pain, headaches and chronic ear pain. If ignored and left untreated, the symptoms and the pain of TMD can make it difficult to eat and speak and may even result in a locked jaw. Not all jaw joint pain and symptoms are TMD. At Lerner & Lemongello we can determine at your initial appointment if you are indeed a TMD sufferer.
  2. A diagnosis of TMD is typically made via a series of x-rays and a complex oral examination. During this examination, we will massage near your jaw to find the source of your pain and discomfort, and to feel for any noticeable swelling. We will also ask you about your overall health, and the possible sources of stress in your life.
  3. One of the main causes of TMD is the habitual grinding of the teeth during sleep or stressful situations. This is called Bruxism. Other causes may be habitual clenching of the teeth, arthritis, misaligned teeth, or trauma to the neck or head.
    4.Are there treatments for TMD? When you are initially diagnosed with TMD, mild treatment is the preferred recommendation – such as eating soft foods, focusing on stress-reduction, applying ice and heat, and possibly taking a muscle relaxant. If the condition persists, a mouth guard or protector to prevent teeth clenching or grinding may be recommended. Although it is rarely necessary, occasionally someone suffering from severe TMD must undergo surgery.

Call to schedule a consultation appointment, today, especially if you think you may have TMD and would like a complete dental examination.

Treatment of TMJ

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) refers to any dental condition that causes stress or damage to the jaw joint. Treatment is possible for TMJ, as is relief from your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your condition, a wide variety of treatment options may be offered by your dentist.

TMJ treatment typically involves the reduction of inflammation to the jaw joint and attached muscles, as well as pain management and therapy to reduce flare-ups.

tmjThe jaw joint is responsible for your ability to open your mouth using a smooth up-and-down motion. TMJ disorders usually result from constant teeth grinding that precipitates a misaligned jaw or from overuse of the jaw and its muscles. Often, TMJ can affect your teeth, gums, and the overall bone structure of your mouth.

Generally, the symptoms of TMJ disorder include a clicking or popping sound in the jaw when you eat or speak. You may also experience headaches, toothaches and neck or shoulder pain.

There are many treatment options available, including:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Muscle relaxants.
  • Sedatives.
  • Counseling or patient education.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Bite guards.
  • Surgery

Contact us today to learn which treatment options are best for you.

TMJ? Treatment is Available

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMJ, is any inconsistency that affects your jaw joint. Most commonly, TMJ affects the joint that connects the lower jawbone to the upper jaw, which is responsible for the opening and closing of your mouth. TMJ can be caused by heredity, trauma to the mouth or most commonly, overuse over time.

If you believe that you may have TMJ, it is important to know that treatment is available and that you should seek professional treatment sooner rather than later. Untreated TMJ disorders can lead to teeth grinding and other bone problems within your teeth, gums and jaw.

TMJ is normally identified by a clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth or jaw. However, less obvious symptoms such as pain within your face, neck or ears along with frequent headaches and even toothaches may be attributed to TMJ.

Only a trained dentist can diagnose your TMJ condition, and prescribe the appropriate treatment plan for your recovery or management of TMJ. Often, over the counter pain relievers are sufficient to manage the early signs of TMJ, however you dentist can prescribe stronger methods of pain relief if necessary.

Additionally, muscle relaxers or sedatives could be prescribed for your treatment. With prolonged pain patients may be advised of physical therapy routines to improve the effects of their TMJ, and bite guards may be prescribed to prevent grinding and mouth pain.

Don’t spend another moment in pain from use of your jaw. Contact Lerner & Lemongello for a consultation to diagnose and treat your TMJ today.

Why Does My Jaw Pop?

I was recently asked advice from a person regarding her Jaw joint.  It seems that she was aware of a popping and clicking when she opened and closed by didn’t think much of it.  Over time it progressively increased and she hoped it would resolve on its own until one day she could no longer open her mouth.  Overnight she went from clicking to feeling as if her jaw was now locked.   Her situation is common.  What is happening is the cartilage in her jaw joint (TMJ)was no longer sliding properly until eventually the cartilage slid out of position becoming trapped.  Once trapped it is much more difficult to treat the problem.  As with any other medical condition it is always better to treat it in an early stage.  Waiting only makes the situation worse.  If this problem is something you are experiencing it is important to bring this to the attention of a dentist.  Not all dentists are trained to treat Jaw joint problems so consult with a specialist in this area.  In our office our doctors are trained to identify and treat jaw joint problems early and if necessary provide a referral to a specialist before the situation worsens.

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