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TMJ Treatment Roslyn Heights, NY

TMJ TreatmentAn Overview

Many people have bite-related problems and don’t even realize it. If you experience frequent headaches, especially in the area around your temples, neck aches, or clicking or popping in your jaw near your ears you may be experiencing a bite-related problem.

Dr. Richard Sousa has experience in treating bite-related TMJ Disorders and associated problems. He completed an additional year of training in craniomandibular disorders at NYU.

He was an associate for many years in one of the best-known and respected TMJ specialty practices in the world. In addition, he is a fellow of the Northeastern Gnathological Society which is a highly respected organization that focuses on the function and reconstruction of the bite.

What is TMJ?

Short for temporomandibular joint, TMJ has become the catch-all term for an uncomfortable or uneven bite. There is a range of possible causes for a TMJ related disorder, including:

  • Genetic, jaw structure concerns
  • Malocclusion
  • Trauma
  • Stress

In almost all patients, there is muscle tension as a result of either a dental problem, teeth grinding, or a combination of the two. This ongoing stress on the jaw joints prevents them from resting in a natural position and can also impact how the teeth make contact when chewing. Over time, this leads to tooth wear, damage, discomfort, and a range of painful symptoms affecting the craniomandibular region.

Dr. Sousa works with patients to assess their oral health, lifestyle habits, and other factors affecting their smiles. He will provide a personalized treatment plan to address the unique concerns of each patient.

Innovative dentistry, friendly enthusiastic staff, with common sense applied to treatment. What more could one ask for?Lisa Madsen
It is always a pleasant experience to go to Dr. Sousa's office. I completely rely on Dr. Sousa's expertise in dentistry and his cosmetic aesthetic (he is an artist) as well as the upbeat positive environment with Dr. Sousa's staff. Conversation is always sprinkled with a sense of humor; yet…Anonymous
The best dental experience I've had thus far. When I enter the office I am greeted with big smiles and kind words. It feels like a family. The work Dr. Sousa does is sensational and his determination to do the best job he can is indisputable. With a great supporting…Anonymous

TMJ Treatment What to Expect

Treatment for a TMJ-related disorder is unique to each patient, depending on the condition of their dental health and the underlying cause of their bite problem. The first step is a thorough exam and analysis of your bite.

Dr. Sousa will look for signs of tooth wear, damage and listen to the sound of the jaw joints in motion. From there, a treatment plan is created to address your needs with the goal of restoring comfort, function, and lasting oral health.

Treatment options can include:

  • Mouthguard, night guard: often recommended, a custom oral appliance that is designed to position the jaw correctly and prevent clenching and teeth grinding.
  • Restorative dentistry: to readjust how the teeth make contact, or to address tooth damage, we may recommend a range of restorative treatments.
  • Orthodontics: if malocclusion is the problem, orthodontic treatment may be the best option for realigning the bite and restoring oral health.

For patients who also identify stress as a cause for their TMJ-related symptoms, there are lifestyle changes that can work to reduce jaw tension and improve symptoms. Exercise, rest, and identifying the source of your stress may be the first steps towards better oral and overall health and wellness.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

Does TMJ get worse with age?

If you do not treat your TMJ disorder properly, yes it will get worse over time. Just like with every other joint in your body, the TMJ will slowly degenerate or get weaker as you age. However, if you seek treatment promptly and continue as advised by your dentist, you should be able to manage your condition and pain well.

What happens if TMJ is left untreated?

An untreated TMJ disorder will most definitely impact your quality of life and overall health. It is not life-threatening but it may become uncomfortable, limit your diet, and may even lead to chronic pain. You risk suffering from joint damage, damage to your teeth, developing issues from your muscles contracting, and developing a sleep disorder.

What causes a TMJ disorder?

There are many known causes for TMJ disorders but there also may be some causes that are unknown. The known and obvious causes include injury, arthritis, teeth grinding, certain diseases, and dental surgeries or infections. TMJ issues may also be related to your environment, genetics, stress, or possibly hormones.