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TMJ Treatment

TMJ Treatment in Midtown & the Upper East Side, NYC

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints on each side of the face connecting the skull to the lower jaw. In order to allow forward, backward, and side-to-side movements of the lower jaw, and opening and closing of the mouth, these joints work in alignment with the facial bones and five pairs of muscles. TMJ dysfunctions are caused by the disturbance of this facial symphony and involve the joints and muscles not working together acceptably, giving rise to muscle spasm, ultimately resulting in pain, muscle tenderness and tissue damage.

It has been reported that the occurrence of TMJ disorders is extremely high in men, women, and children of all ages. These millions of people have no awareness about their TMJ condition and seeking its treatment from a dentist. Pain and headaches are the early symptoms of TMJ disorders. Among those suffering from a TMJ disorder, about 40% people complain of some kind of facial pain and 80% people report an enervating headache.

It is important to seek treatment for your TMJ condition from a TMJ specialist doctor or dentist, otherwise it would get worse with time. Increasing joint inflammation or damage, additional wear and breakdown of teeth, enhanced muscle contraction and augmented neck, head and facial pain result when the proper treatment for TMJ is not taken. Incorrect alignment of the jaw leads to wear and tear while you sleep, speak, chew, swallow or yawn.

Dr. Lee and Dr. Andrew Flores are specialized in treating TMJ disorders in NYC. They have treated, cured and satisfied a large number of patients with TMJ disorders at Thyme Dental Care, New York.

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“This is the only professional dentist I would suggest for all your concerns. Great customer relation, which makes my visit as comfortable as possible, the environment is cool and clean. Top Notch Dentist like Dr. Lee is hard to find in New York. I would highly recommend to other.”

TMJ Symptoms

  • Ear pain symptoms: hearing loss, ringing in the ears, ear pain, a feeling of “under water” or “plugged” ears.
  • Headaches: the extent of pain can be compared to the migraine.
  • Jaw Pain: Dental issues contribute more to jaw pain as compared to the musculoskeletal and other issues. The most offending dental pathology involve periodontal disease, root canal or dental decay. Jaw pain can also result from tendons, ligaments, muscles, neck and TMJ.
  • Clicking: A disc or a pad can be placed between the temporal bone and mandible in the TM Joint acting as a cushion. This cushion can cause click when opening and closing that can lead to locking and grating or crepitus.
  • Popping: Some clicking can be popping or staccato by nature.
  • Locking: Chronic displacement of disc leads to locking of the jaw joint with limited range of motion and deflection of the jaw.

TMJ Dentist Treatments

All the treatments offered by Thyme Dental Care, NYC are customized according to your condition. As TMJ specialists, Dr. Lee and Dr. Flores offer several possible treatment options:

  • BOTOX™ Injections / Trigger Point Injections: A local anesthetic is injected into tender points to re-educate the muscles and eradicate pain in a Trigger point injection therapy. BOTOX injections provide relief for about 3-8 months from TMJ.
  • TMJ Oral Appliances / Bite Guards: In order to decompress the auriculotemporal nerve and reposition the jaw to reduce clicking, TMJ oral appliances and bite guards come into play. Orthodontic appliances are also utilized during the treatment. Certain stabilization appliances are employed to control cognitive behavioral habit and myofascial pain.
  • Physical Therapy for TMJ: In addition to manual physical therapy, Feldenkrais, cold laser, the Alexander technique, ultrasound, postural correction, cold, heat and stim can also be employed in the mobilization of the TMJs, deep muscle therapy and myofascial release. Craniosacral therapy has also been found to be useful by many therapists.
  • Sleep Appliances for TMJ: Sometimes, breathing related sleep disorders are associated with TMJ disorders. On their diagnosis, dentists usually prescribe oral sleep appliances which help in easy breathing during sleep.
  • Medications: In addition to the nonsurgical treatments, certain medications are used to alleviate the pain caused by TMJ disorders. These medications involve Medrol, muscle relaxants or Neuropathic medications. Doctor would recommend a sedative if your pain is increasing due to nighttime teeth clenching.
  • Chiropractic TMJ Treatments: Chiropractic TMJ treatments involve ART, applied kinesiology, SOT, cranial therapy, atlas orthogonist and foot orthotics.

Some Possible Causes of TMJ

  • Estrogen: Varying estrogen levels can also be a possible cause of TMJ, as idiopathic or internal condylar resorption can be experienced by adolescent girls. Estrogen receptors are present in the TMJ due to which perimenopausal women also commonly complain of bite changes and TMJ sensitivity.
  • Bruxism: It is a stereotyped movement disorder that arises during sleep, aggravating muscle pain by overloading the TMJ as a recurrent strain type injury.
  • Joint laxity: Discs are easily slipped out of position by the elongated ligaments.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis can be localized as a traumatic or an osteoarthritis, or systemic as an auto immune disease. You can also experience localized inflammation due to these types of arthritis.
  • Autoimmune: Bite changes and jaw pain can be caused by psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, seronegative arthritis, Reiters syndrome and Sjogrens. 
  • Sleep: Overall or widespread fatigue and pain are caused by lack of stage 3 and 4 NREM sleep. The deep restorative sleep of about 7-8 hours cause healing.
  • Trauma: Joint sprain or strain can be caused by bad falls, microtrauma, blows to the chin, wisdom tooth extraction and intubation.


The first branchial arch develops an intimate connection between the ear and the jaw in human development. Pinto’s ligament helps in connecting TMJ to the malleus and incus. TMJ patients might develop ear, neck and shoulder pain which might act as diagnostic symptoms for the TMJ disorders. Sometimes, the ear pain can be referred to other regions like head, neck, and face.

If you want to get a proper TMJ treatment, schedule your consultation today with Dr. Flores and Dr. Lee at Thyme Dental Care in Midtown and the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

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