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TMJ

James P. McMenamin, DMD -  - Maxillofacial Surgeon

James P. McMenamin, DMD

Maxillofacial Surgeon & Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon located in Warren, NJ

If you have pain in your jaw or a clicking or grating sensation when you open and close your mouth, you might have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. James McMenamin, DMD, is a dedicated dentist and oral surgeon who provides exceptional treatments for TMJ disorders at his private practice in Warren, New Jersey. Schedule an appointment by calling the office or requesting online and find relief from your TMJ disorder today.

TMJ Q & A

What is TMJ?

Your TMJ is the joint that keeps your lower jaw and your skull connected. It stands for “temporomandibular joint,” and it operates with a mechanism that both slides and opens like a hinge. Your TMJ is what makes it possible for you to chew, speak, and yawn properly.

Many people also use the abbreviation to refer to a disorder with the joint, which is technically called TMJ disorder or TMD. A TMJ disorder is a painful condition that makes your joint function improperly, making it difficult to eat and chew. You’re more likely to develop TMJ disorder if you are:

  • Male
  • 20-40 years old

TMJ and TMD are often used interchangeably, but technically speaking, TMJ is the joint, while TMD is the name of the condition that affects the joint.

What are some signs that I have a TMJ disorder?

Some of the more common symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw pain and tenderness
  • Headaches or ear pain
  • Your jaw getting stuck open or closed
  • A clicking, popping, or grating sound when you open or close your mouth
  • An awkward feeling in your bite like your teeth don’t properly fit together

The severity of TMD symptoms varies greatly. Some patients’ experience is only mildly irritating, while for others, it can be intolerable.

A TMJ disorder can last anywhere from a few days to many years and can lead to muscle pain, headaches, and damage to your teeth if it’s not properly treated.

How is a TMJ disorder treated?

If your TMJ disorder is less severe, Dr. McMenamin begins your treatment with more conservative approaches and noninvasive solutions like:

  • Medications that can relax the muscles in your jaw
  • Physical therapy
  • Removable oral appliances

He might also recommend lifestyle changes like:

  • Avoiding sudden jaw movements like yelling or yawning
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Reducing your stress

For some, these conservative treatments significantly improve their condition. Others might need more aggressive treatments. Some of the more advanced treatments for a TMJ disorder include:

  • Joint injections
  • Jaw surgery

Dr. McMenamin works with you to determine what’s the best approach in your particular case.

Request a TMJ disorder consultation with Dr. McMenamin today and put your pain in the past.