young adult man holding his jaw in painMost New Yorkers have busy lives. With work, family, after-school activities, travel, transportation issues, and just general daily errands, New Yorkers are always on the go. In the hustle and bustle of New York City life, sometimes people don’t put their health at the top of their priority list. Your daily habits can actually make some existing dental problems worse, and bad habits can also exacerbate certain medical conditions, including TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders).

If you suffer from ear and jaw pain on one side of your face, or if both sides of your jaw ache constantly, you may have TMJ. If you experience sudden jaw pain for no apparent reason, you may have TMJ. If you’ve experienced a swollen jaw on one side or on both sides, your TMJ may need to be treated. These, and the numerous other symptom associated with TMJ, may mean a trip to your Columbus Circle, New York City neuromuscular dentist.

There’s no reason to suffer with TMJ any longer. Your NYC neuromuscular dentist will perform a thorough evaluation of your mouth, face, and jaw; get a thorough medical and dental history, and ask you several questions about your daily habits. The good news is that disorders involving the temporomandibular joint are treatable, and millions of Americans get relief rather quickly after being properly diagnosed with TMJ and placed on a treatment plan custom-made for them.

Bad Habits that Increase TMJ Symptoms

Regardless of the cause of your TMJ problem, there are many things you may be doing to make your TMD worse without even realizing it. Here are just some of the most common habits that make TMJ worse:

  • Chewing gum and hard foods (hard candy, apples, crunchy chips, beef jerky)
  • Eating foods that require a lot of chewing (doughy bread, chips, pretzels, steak, and other meats)
  • Taking big bites that require unnecessarily excessive chewing
  • Poor posture—because TMJ is related to the neck, shoulders, arms, and back, it’s important to maintain good posture because sitting poorly and slouching can exacerbate your already-painful TMJ symptoms
  • Clenching your teeth when stressed or angry
  • Grinding your teeth in your sleep—you may not even realize you do this, but your partner probably hears you grinding your teeth at night
  • Stress—you may not even realize how tense your body becomes when you’re under stress. The constant muscle tension that stress causes can wreak havoc on your jaw joints
  • Sleeping on your stomach causes your spine to be in poor alignment, which, in turn, affects your jaw. When the jaw is not properly aligned in a resting position, the result is TMJ and all of its nasty symptoms.

TMJ Symptoms in Columbus Circle, New York City

TMJ is often difficult to diagnose because there are so many symptoms, and many of them seem unrelated. If you have TMJ, you may experience:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Jaw pain
  • Ear and jaw pain on one side only
  • Sudden jaw pain on one side only
  • Swollen jaw
  • Ear fullness
  • Neck pain
  • Numbness/tingling in the fingers
  • Stiff neck
  • Stiff shoulders
  • Clicking/popping noises in the jaw area
  • Dizziness
  • Malocclusion (the medical term for a misaligned bite)

TMJ Treatment in Columbus Circle

There are a variety of ways to treat TMJ, and every patient’s treatment plan will be different based on their unique situation and goals. Some of the most successful treatments for TMJ are the use of a TENS unit (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation) and bite splints, also known as oral appliances. Surgery is rarely a treatment option, so if you are hesitant to have any type of invasive procedure done, please know that more conservative TMJ treatments have proven hugely successful at this Columbus Circle dentist’s office.

Break the Habits that Make TMJ Worse in Manhattan

Appolon Dental Group serving Columbus Circle and surrounding areas of New York City, understands how TMJ can negatively impact your life. If you’ve suffered for years with any of the symptoms above and have been to numerous medical doctors to no avail, then please call our neuromuscular dentistry office (212) 557-8668 to schedule a new patient appointment.

We also have an online appointment form you may fill out, and one of our dental team members will reach out to you shortly to answer any questions you may have and get you scheduled.