The temporomandibular joints connect your jaw to your skull. Problems with this joint and the muscles that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Dr. Joseph Mormino offers TMD treatment at our Staten Island, NY, practice using oral appliances to correct occlusal issues that cause inflammation and other symptoms related to TMD. If you experience symptoms such as sore jaw muscles or popping and clicking in your jaw, Dr. Mormino can perform a comprehensive exam to determine if you have the disorder, and provide you with a custom-made mouth guard to relieve your symptoms.
What is TMD Disorder?
TMD is a condition in which the temporomandibular joints connecting the upper and lower jaw become inflamed. These joints help the lower jaw move, allowing you to open and close your mouth with ease. They often become inflamed because the upper and lower jaws do not meet properly. The patient will overcompensate to achieve a comfortable bite, but in the meantime, the jaw joints become strained. Dr. Mormino performs a check for occlusion, which refers to how your upper and lower jaws meet when you bite, to determine if this is causing the patient's TMJ disorder.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
The exact cause of TMD can be elusive as several factors may contribute to the disorder. The upper and lower bones of the temporomandibular joint are separated by a small disk of tissue that allows for smooth movement of the jaw. If this disk moves out of alignment or erodes, it can lead to TMJ disorder. Other possible causes include:
Dr. Mormino can suggest several types of treatment for TMD, from home remedies to prescription medications and mouth guards. Typically, the doctor first recommends trying conservative home treatments. These remedies may include eating soft foods, using heat packs on the jaw to alleviate inflammation, and avoiding foods like caramels and chewing gum.
Our custom-fit night guards can alleviate TMD symptoms.
If you do not experience any relief after trying home remedies, the doctor can prescribe muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory drugs to try and relax the jaw muscles. For most patients, however, he usually suggests a mouth guard. Worn at night, while you sleep, a mouth guard will prevent your teeth from grinding, placing your jaw into proper alignment.
Types of Mouth Guards
Dr. Mormino typically recommends a custom-fit night mouth guard, which is worn while the patient sleeps. These night guards provide the best fit and protection. The doctor will take impressions of your teeth, which he forwards to our in-house dental lab. The dental technicians fabricate your guard to his specifications. Because it is customized to fit your teeth, it stays in place as you sleep without slipping or falling out, providing protection against grinding, keeping your jaw in its correct position, and allowing you to get a full night of comfortable sleep.
Contact Us Today
If you are experiencing the symptoms of TMD, and they do not subside with home treatments, you need the care of an experienced dentist. To learn more about TMJ disorder and your treatment options from Dr. Mormino, contact us today.