Often, serious dental issues begin with minor symptoms. Over time, however, these minor symptoms can develop into painful warning signs. With TMJ disorder, you may notice multiple seemingly unrelated symptoms that soon blossom into difficult opening or closing your mouth. Fortunately, your Livingston dentists, Dr. David Silverstrom and Dr. Gary Silverstrom, can recognize these symptoms and offer treatment for TMJ-related discomfort. Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Disorder Question: What is TMJ disorder? Answer: TMJ disorder develops when the jaw joints become strained. Excessive pressure and stress soon cause a patient to develop this common disorder, which affects over ten million people in the United States alone. Question: What are the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction? Answer: Do you have TMJ disorder? Common symptoms include a popping or crackling sensation in the jaw. Patients also report frequent headaches or jaw pain. Earaches and tinnitus also accompany TMJ disorder, along with facial and neck pain. Question: What causes TMJ strain? Answer: Jaw joint strain can be caused by a number of factors, including teeth grinding, bite misalignment, and trauma to the face or jaw. If you grind your teeth, you may experience tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures and toothaches as the grinding wears and damages your teeth. Question: What can my Livingston dentists do to ease TMJ discomfort? Answer: After a consultation and examination, your Livingston dentists can assess the cause of your TMJ dysfunction. Drs. David and Gary Silverstrom offer a number of comfortable and minimally invasive treatment options for TMJ disorder. Some patients may need to perform muscle exercises, limit the consumption of hard or chewy foods, and use compresses to ease jaw strain. For more serious cases, Dr. David or Gary Silverstrom may prescribe an oral appliance. Similar in appearance to a night guard, this device repositions the jaw to relieve misalignment. The appliance also prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching to stop bruxism. With a simple oral appliance, you can experience a reduction in TMJ-related symptoms. About Dr. David Silverstrom and Dr. Gary Silverstrom: The Silverstrom Dental Group provides the latest in comprehensive dental care for patients in Livingston, NJ and surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call (973) 797-9345.