TMJ Diagnosis

TMJ Diagnosis

TMJ Diagnosis and treating TMJ disorders

TMJ Diagnosis

TMJ Diagnosis and treating TMJ disorders

Dr. Benjamin Polan does TMJ diagnosis in Beverly, MA

TMJ Diagnosis and treating TMJ disorders

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint that connects your lower jaw to the temporal bones placed on the sides of your head. Movements of the temporomandibular joint are regulated by accompanying jaw muscles placed close by. There are various causes of TMJ disorder which cause numerous different pains and symptoms. Teeth grinding is a popular cause of TMJ disorders; it is a habitual act that slowly grinds down and dislocates ligaments that hold the joint together. A TMJ disorder can also appear after the joint is injured by impact, or for any reason that areas of neighboring jaw bones begin to erode and cause misalignment.

TMJ disorder diagnosis

Due to the numerous causes and symptoms of TMJ disorders, it would be ineffective to have a standard test to diagnose a patient with a TMJ disorder. Symptoms only determine if you are suffering from a TMJ disorder in the first place. Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include, but are not limited to:

  • Painful or painless clicking, grating and popping in the jaw joint
  • Changes in the alignment of the upper and lower teeth
  • Jaw muscle spasms
  • Jaw locking
  • Affected posturing
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Limited jaw movement and stiffness
  • Jaw, face and neck pain

If you experience any of these symptoms, a TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA begins to rule out other conditions to determine if a TMJ disorder is the culprit for your suffering. Once it has been determined that you have a TMJ disorder, there are various treatments ranging from preventative actions to surgery.

Simple Treatments

In the beginning, your dentist is likely to recommend that you take preventative actions such as avoiding gum chewing, wide yawning and eating soft foods to avoid the potentially temporary discomfort of a TMJ disorder. Along with preventative measures, simple actions such as applying ice packs to the jawline and the use of over-the-counter inflammatory pain medicines also help with TMJ disorder comfort.

Relaxation and jaw stretching techniques can also be added to your pain relief regiment. Reduction of stress lessens tension in the jawline, and employing stretching techniques allow for wider jaw movements without experiencing pain.

Appliance Treatments

Stabilization sprints are often used for TMJ disorder treatments. They are used to prevent teeth grinding and offer pain relief from jaw clenching, especially at night. These mechanisms, often called night splints, are effective, but are not designed to change your bite. When a permanent change in your bite is required, orthodontic braces can be employed to permanently rearrange your bite. Braces are placed on your teeth for up to 24 months to gradually change your bite to prevent TMJ disorder pain.

Cosmetic Treatments

At times, the uneven shape of your teeth or gaps in your jawline due to lost teeth are the key reasons for jaw misalignment. Crowns and dental veneers balance the shape of your teeth if they have been damaged by teeth grinding, cavities, old crowns or injury.

Implants and bridges replace any missing teeth that cause bite rearrangement. Use of these cosmetic treatments correct uneven teeth and place your jawline back in sync. Once your jawline is stabilized, your TMJ disorders are reduced significantly or eliminated.


Surgery is the last resort for TMJ disorder relief, and is only used when a patient is suffering from severe pain or lockjaw that is unresponsive to prior treatment. The following surgeries are the most common for TMJ disorders:

  • Arthrocentesis- The simplest form of surgery. A procedure that injects a saline and steroid formula into the jawline to unstick cartilage.
  • TMJ microsurgery- A more advanced surgery that repairs the temporomandibular joint through a small incision in the ear.
  • Open surgery- A more open incision is used near the ear to remove a larger amount of damaged cartilage near the temporomandibular joint.

It is best to visit a TMJ dentist as soon as you notice any changes in your bite and feel any discomfort in your jawline. Thankfully, the craft-work of jaw muscles and joints are complex and often used so discomfort is quickly noticeable to notify you of any malfunction. An experienced TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan deals with TMJ disorders by helping you understand every step of the process, avoiding complicated issues and unnecessary discomfort.

Life transforming dental solutions

By Beverly MA Dentist Dr. Benjamin Polan

TMJ Jaw Pain

TMJ Jaw Pain

TMJ can cause jaw pain

TMJ Jaw Pain

TMJ can cause jaw pain

Jaw pain? Seek out Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA for more info on TMJ

TMJ can cause jaw pain

Among many other symptoms, consistent jaw pain is the most common sign of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, TMJ. If you have jaw joint pain, it is important that you see a TMJ dentist such as Dr. benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA who specializes in the treatment for the disorder and it’s symptoms.

About TMJ disorder

The TMJ are the two joints that hold your lower jaw to your skull bone, one on each side. These joints allow your lower jaw to move up and down and side to side. Without those joints working as they are intended, you will find it difficult and painful to eat all but the softest foods. Sometimes, people with TMJ even have trouble opening their jaws widely enough to speak clearly. Being connected to various parts of the face and body, TMJ can cause other symptoms such as neck pain, teeth grinding, headaches & migraines, and many more.

Causes of TMJ disorder

TMJ can be caused by several disorders, injuries or inflammations:

  • You may have sustained an injury to your joints in an accident, fight or fall.
  • If you grind your teeth while you sleep, you probably have or soon will have a TMJ disorder. This is a very common reason and can be caused by jaw misalignment; a tooth that is higher than other teeth nearby; or, even simple stress expressed during sleep.
  • You may have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the joints.
  • There may be a dislocation of the discs inside the joints.
  • The disorder can also easily be caused by a daylong habit of walking around with a clenched jaw.

TMJ jaw pain relief

Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA is trained to help patients with TMJ jaw pain using several methods:

  • Something as simple as cold or hot compresses will be able to relax clenched jaw muscles and relieve pain.
  • Prescriptions for pain relievers and muscle relaxers.
  • An examination may reveal teeth whose upper surfaces are not even with other teeth. Lowering the profile of the tooth or teeth and perhaps fitting them with crowns can help TMJ pain.
  • Physical therapy can help achieve a wider range of motion.
  • A mouth guard worn at night can help prevent grinding of teeth. The guard will also protect the enamel and tooth structure.
  • As a last resort, for severe cases, oral surgery may be necessary.

Relief from chronic jaw pain caused by TMJ is achievable! To begin your journey toward freedom from jaw joint pain, call the offices of Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA and book a consultation.

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At Exceptional Dental, we offer a wide range of services in addition to cosmetic & restorative dentistrygeneral & preventative dentistry, dental implants, orthodontics, tmj disorder treatment, sleep disorder treatment and more.


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