Cherry Hill TMJ dentist, Dr. Barry Polansky, eases pain and corrects alignment with therapy and bite appliances. Read about this common jaw health issue.
Stress, arthritis and other factors cause a common joint health problem called TMJ dysfunction. Cherry Hill TMJ dentist, Dr. Barry Polansky, treats temporomandibular joint dysfunction in his Cherry Hill, NJ office, offering patients long-term relief from this ofttimes painful and debilitating condition.
What is TMJ?
More properly termed TMJ Dysfunction, this jaw joint condition is named for the temporomandibular joint, the hinge joining the top and bottom portions of the jaw. TMJ affects women more than men and seems particularly prevalent during the childbearing years. Common symptoms of TMJ include:
- an audible clicking or popping noise when opening and closing the mouth
- facial soreness and pain at the joint
- difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- mouth getting “stuck” in the open or closed position
- neck pain
- perceived misalignment of the upper and lower jaws
- trouble chewing properly and comfortably
While women tend to suffer from TMJ more often, children, seniors and men of all ages can get the condition at one time or another in their lives.
What are the causes of TMJ?
Causes of TMJ remain something of a mystery, but your Cherry Hill dentist believes many factors may contribute to it–things such as:
- stress and muscle tension
- tooth grinding and clenching, especially at night (bruxism)
- arthritis or deterioration of the disc-like cartilage in the joint
- injury, such as a blow to the side of the head or jaw dislocation
- teeth with poor bite alignment
- tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- pain while eating or when yawning
Digital x-rays, CT scans and MRIs, along with a simple oral exam and palpation of the face, neck and jaw, pinpoints temporomandibular joint dysfunction. These diagnostics help Dr. Polansky and his patient decide on the correct course of treatment.
What to do about temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Cherry Hill TMJ therapy may proceed in different directions: pharmaceutical, therapeutic and dental. Prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, and/or muscle relaxants help some sufferers of TMJ. Physical therapy plus relaxation techniques relieve people plagued by stress. Poorly aligned teeth may require orthodontics to correct the condition. Plus, dentists, such as Dr. Polansky, may utilize custom-made acrylic bite guards to re-position the jaw and reduce grinding and clenching.
For severe cases of this joint problem, your primary care physician may work together wirh Dr. Barry Polansky and his Cherry Hill TMJ therapy team to formulate and carry out the best course of treatment for a particular patient.
The best of credentials
Dr. Polansky and his staff possess excellent dentistry skills and diligently pursue continuing education. Dr. Polansky is also a sought-after lecturer, author and instructor in all things dental. You can trust your Cherry HIll dentist to pursue correct management of your TMJ symptoms. For a personal consultation, contact the office staff.