You’re driving to work when it struck – another headache! You pop a handful of over-the-counter pain medication but you know they won’t help much. You’ll have to suffer with this pain all day whether you go to work or turn around and go home. Day after day, you wake up with a headache and aching jaw. Day after day, you struggle through the pain. You’ve seen doctor after doctor but found little to no relief or the pain just keeps coming back.
Does this sound familiar? You may be dealing with a TMJ disorder, a common issue afflicting millions of Americans.
“I travel all the way from Connecticut because Dr Graziano and his staff offer the highest quality dental care available. He uses modern state of the Art equipment in a clean sterile office with a very knowledgeable staff. His practice is family owned and operated offering a very personal experience. I can see why he has won the Best Dentist Award. Thanks for giving me my smile and confidence back.”
– Art C
TEMPOROMANDINULAR JOINT & TMJ DISORDERS
Temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) are among the most complex joints in the body, and along with the several muscles, are responsible for movement of the lower jaw which allows you to chew, talk, yawn, and swallow. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD’s) are a group of conditions that cause pain or dysfunction in the jaw joints and the muscles that are responsible for jaw movement. Any problem that prevents the system of muscles, bones, joints structures (cartilage disc, ligaments, joint capsule), nerves and blood supply from working in harmony may result in a temporomandibular joint disorder.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TMJ DISORDERS
Signs and symptoms may come and go, change in frequency, and often times occur during specific times of day such as waking up or late afternoons and evenings. Many times, symptoms can be exacerbated from strenuous jaw activity and stress.
Many people who are suffering for a TMJ disorder will see a medical doctor (particularly neurologists and ENT’s) for these issues with little to no relief or their symptoms keep coming back. If this sounds like you or you’re experiencing any of these sign or symptoms, we highly recommend an exam with our doctors.
“An amazing family practice with super friendly doctors and staff! I fully trust the team and come all the way from Manhattan for my dental care.”
– Niall K
HOW IS TMD TREATED?
In the least severe cases, TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care such as eating soft foods, applying hot/cold packs, passive jaw stretching, over-the-counter NSAID’s, and avoiding extreme or strenuous jaw movements. More severe cases can be treated with non-invasive approaches such as orthopedic appliances. Depending on the symptoms or severity of the case, prescription medications (anti-inflammatory, steroid, muscle relaxants) and adjunctive therapy (physical therapy, massage therapy, postural realignment, Botox injections, behavioral management, stress management) may be beneficial. In the most severe cases, more invasive treatments may be necessary such as joint aspirations, surgical interventions or total joint replacements.
“I have been seeing Dr Graziano now for years. The treatment, facilities, familial nature etc. are excellent. Dr Graziano is the best dentist I have been to over the years, and I have been to a few. I would highly recommend his practice.”
– Tobias W
WHAT CAUSES TMJ DISORDERS?
Often times the root cause of TMJ disorders begins with a bad bite or a lack of harmony in the way your teeth come together. It can be a result of stress, clenching, grinding, traumatic injury, significant changes to the way upper and lower teeth fit and function together, or even poorly balanced dental work.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP? WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
Our doctors have extensive training and the most advance equipment to diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. They use the principles of Centric Relation to balance your bite, stabilize your jaw joint, relax your jaw muscles, and reduce further damage that could increase the risk for needing surgical intervention. This approach provides the most conservative, diagnostic, predictable, and effective care possible to relieve our patients of their TMJ discomfort.
The process of restoring harmony, function, long-term stability, and comfort typically begins with appliance therapy. A highly specialized appliance is custom made to create an artificial perfect bite which will position your jaw joint in the most comfortable, stable position and allow your jaw muscles to relax. Only after TMJ discomfort has been successfully resolved and your bite has relaxed into the proper position, equilibration can used to keep it that way.
“His office is a first-class operation with his knowledge of dentistry, top of the line equipment and his team. They all have one goal - that when you leave their office, you are confident that you received the absolute ideal treatment for your teeth.”
– Pat R
APPLIANCE THERAPY AND BITE SPLINTS. WHAT MAKES OURS SO UNIQUE AND EFFECTIVE?
Appliance therapy can take several months to complete and most patients find relief in the first 24-hours! They are typically worn while you sleep but we find that many of our patients find them so comfortable and effective that they choose to wear them throughout the day!
Unlike many intraoral appliances, bite splints are highly specialized custom-made devices that require precise records, measurements, and a skilled clinician in order to deliver the best results. Appliance therapy offers a completely non-invasive form of treatment while at the same time providing diagnostic information throughout the course of therapy. With this information, the appliance will be refined to be even more effective, as well as, determine if adjunctive therapies (e.g., physical therapy), additional imaging (MRI or CT scan), or surgical intervention is even necessary.
“Dr. Frank and his team represent the very best of a small dental office - personalized care in a family atmosphere. Dr. Frank's knowledge and experience show in all aspects of his practice, and he will make you feel at home while explaining the procedures and options clearly. His office is immaculate, and I would highly recommend Dr. Frank to all of my friends and family.”
– Brendan H
Equilibration is an option that balances the way your upper and lower teeth contact each other and harmonizes the way they function together. Our doctor’s highly specialized training allows them to provide several different options or a combination of options to achieve this. This can involve recontouring (reshaping teeth), restorations (adding missing tooth structure), repositioning (Invisalign), replacing (missing teeth), and/or removing (wisdom teeth) to provide the most conservative treatment and longest lasting results!
This is a delicate procedure that requires extreme skill and a trained hand. It’s recommended that it is done after appliance therapy has been completed and is for those who wish to have the benefits of a bite splint all the time! If equilibration is something that you’re interested in, our doctors will be able to determine if you’re a candidate and help you decide if this is the best thing for you before any permanent changes are made.
“Dr. Graziano is hands down the BEST dentist in Westchester!! He is also super knowledgeable, constantly keeping up with the latest technology and dental techniques. His office is immaculate and his staff is extremely warm and friendly. There really is no one better. I highly recommend him”
– Lauren M
CARE THAT EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS! CARE THAT YOU CAN TRUST!
At Crestwood Dental, we pride ourselves on our comprehensive dental care and one-on-one relationships. We believe that our patients should be informed and comfortable while they’re at the dentist.
Our goal is to help our patients maintain their oral health and to care for and protect their natural teeth. We’re committed to providing the most conservative, professional care possible to help relieve our patients of their TMJ discomfort.
“Dr. Graziano, Marg and their team have always been professional, friendly and truly outstanding. He is always honest and cares about his patients.”
– Guy D