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Did you know that an estimated 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorder? Your TMJ, also known as your temporomandibular joint, is one of the most important joints in your body. It is also one of the most used. Your TMJ connects your jaw to the base of your skull and allows you to speak, chew and even yawn. You may not think much about your TMJ, however, until is produces painful symptoms.

When this jaw joint gets irritated, over-strained or inflamed, a condition called TMD can develop. Unfortunately, TMD is associated with some very disruptive symptoms that can be hard to live with if left untreated. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand TMJ and when this joint may be calling for your attention:

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
When the TMJ is dysfunctional and/or irritated, patients can experience a wide range of symptoms, including jaw pain, clicking and popping noises from your jaw, severe headaches, neck/shoulder pain, difficulty opening their mouth, ringing or pain in their ears and more. It is not uncommon for patients to go to a neurologist for headache treatment or an ENT for an assuming ear infection when the culprit is really the TMJ that needs to be addressed by a dentist.

What Causes TMJ Problems?
There are many factors that can contribute to a stressed out, misaligned or tight TMJ. Causes can include a bad bite, teeth grinding/clenching, excessive gum chewing, jaw injury, arthritis and stress. Some patients experience a painful TMJ because they clench their jaw when running or exercising. Letting a dentist determine an accurate cause of your TMJ pain is essential for planning your treatment.

Are There Home Remedies to Treat TMD?
In many cases, TMJ pain is an acute flare-up that can resolve on its own within a couple weeks. However, it is almost always necessary to implement some changes and therapy at home to encourage the jaw joint to heal and relax. This can involve a number of home remedies, including the following:

  • Apply moist heat and/or ice
  • Rest your jaw (avoid chewing gum or eating crunchy foods)
  • Support your jaw when you yawn
  • Consider jaw exercises
  • Reduce your stress
  • Take OTC anti-inflammatories

How Can a Dentist Treat TMJ Discomfort?
When you fail to find relief at home for your TMJ or if your jaw pain keeps coming back, it is time to see your dentist. Don’t wait until TMD ruins your quality of life and affects your overall health. A dentist can address TMD after first determining the culprit to your jaw symptoms. This may include wearing a night guard to prevent teeth grinding, orthodontics to correct a bad bite or available alternative therapies. Botox, acupuncture and electrical stimulation have all been used to help release or relax the jaw muscles that surround the joint so that symptoms can improve.

How Can Untreated TMD Affect Overall Health?
When the TMJ joint and surrounding muscles continue to stay over-strained, the discomfort can become debilitating. Not only can facial, jaw and neck pain compromise your quality of life, but it can also limit the way you eat. Therefore, untreated TMD has been associated with malnutrition.

In addition, when there is an imbalance in your TMJ (jaw joints), it is common to suffer from headaches, dizziness and nausea. Some patients even display poor body posture, premature wearing of their teeth, decreased strength and flexibility, compromised breathing airways, muscles soreness and other whole-body symptoms.

How is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?
A dentist, such as those at Group Health Dental, are uniquely equipped to diagnose and treat TMJ issues. To confirm you have TMD, we may perform an exam to look for swelling or tenderness around your jaw joint and ask you to explain your symptoms. X-rays as well as a CT scan can also be used to evaluate damage and irritation at the bones and joint tissues.

Are you suffering from painful jaw symptoms that are worsening instead of getting better? Turn to Group Health Dental in New York. We are experts in relieving jaw pain and helping patients live a more comfortable life. Call today to schedule your consultation for TMD diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental

230 W 41st St, Second Floor
New York, NY 10036

Phone: (212) 398-9690


Monday - Friday - 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Our Patient Reviews

Group Health Dental

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 67 reviews

Karlee L.

VERY PLEASANT AND LOOKING FORWARD TO MY NEXT VISIT! This dental office was bright and warm from the moment I walked in. The young ladies there were friendly and very pleasant. They offered me a choice of beverage while explaining the online form enrollment process. My xray technician was very pleasant and went through a set of 18(!) x-rays using this new low-radiation equipment. It was a very painless process that went very quickly considering what it would normally take using the old way of taking individual bite-wings. Dr. Vazquez was also very pleasant as she patiently explained her observations of my x-rays.Afterward I sat down for my cleaning with Marcielle (spelling ?) - who was another round of pleasant service as she cleaned and polished my teeth. NO PAIN AT ALL! :) This office has a happy bright orange color theme which immediately adds to the very comforting and cheerful ambiance all around. All I can say is I highly recommend the staff here - they are so ready to deliver service with a smile!

Anita P.

When I stepped foot into the door at this dental office I was terrified because of my previous experiences in other dental offices. I had no choice but to come and get my teeth fixed so I made an appointment. I was warmly welcomed at the front desk and when I told the front desk how terrified I was of being there it was amazing how nice and supportive the ladies were. When I went in for x-rays the technician was amazing as she spoke to me and made me smile. The hygienist was amazing as she had to work hard to clean my teeth and she made me feel so comfortable and I had literally no fear what s ever. My fear was gone. As I saw the dentist I was amazed at her knowledge and he comfort and patience as she worked on me and advised me as to what I needed. I love this place and my fear of dentists is actually gone to the point that I already made two appointments for the rest of the work to be done. Thank you so much for making me feel so comfortable and part of your family as I was surrounded with people who actually cared about me and my feelings and who made me feel better. Thank you soooooooo much.

Olivia L.

Wow just started about 2 weeks ago and I must tell you that my experience was pleasant. I know how could this be possible. They were professional and attentive. The wait time is so short I could not believe it. They are knowledgeable and really work with you and your situation. Not looking to make that buck like so many others I have been to. I felt comfortable which has never been the case. The place is clean and covers a lot of dental work under one roof. I must say it is the best place I have been in years. They get my vote and I will be returning to continue my needed work !!

Dalit A.

I had an appointment with Dr. Concencion and got feedback on why I was there, which was for my concern about a tooth that had trauma to it years ago. I got a full exam that included full mouth x-rays and a cleaning. The receptionists, x-ray technician, dental hygienist, and dentist were all very friendly and pleasant to be around. It was really the most welcoming and comforting experience I've ever had at a dentist's office. I found it a little strange that I have to schedule a consultation with the endodontist to discuss my tooth that I am concerned about, but then again I don't know much about these things and actually do trust that they were being genuine about the medical advice I was given (which is usually not my feeling as a new patient at a dentist's office).


I first went to Group Health Dental at the beginning of 2015 for a root canal. My original dentist wanted to only do certain procedures because he didn't feel it was worth it financially since I have union coverage. He actually told me this to my face. He left me in tremendous pain and I even had to demand antibiotics. I was referred to Group Health by someone else but they were not able to help me because I was too swollen and they did not have an oral surgeon. I went elsewhere to have the tooth extracted since the infection was too severe for the tooth to be saved. Months later, I still needed work since I since never went back to the original dentist. I decided to take a chance with Group Health Dental and I am so glad I did. I walked in the door terrified from my experiences elsewhere but EVERYONE, from the young ladies at reception, the dental hygenist, exray technician, root canal specialist, dentist, his assistant and even the young ladies taking your payment made it an amazing experience for me. Pleasant, caring, gentle and professional people in a clean and pleasing atmosphere. I purposefully waited until all the work was done and waited an additional week to make sure the new work wasn't bothering me to write this review. If I could give them ten stars, I would. Group Health Dental rocks!!! :-) :-) :-)

Romairy L.

I was one of those people that dreaded going to the dentist, but after I started going to Group Health Dental in Midtown, I met Dr. Benito and everything changed. Now I am one of those people who actually looks forward to her dentist appointments. He and his assistant have rake in the street which causes both of them to always be in a great mood and they always are happy to see you. He always makes me laugh, and I mean always. Dr. Bonito and Esmira ( his assistant) are wonderful. they always make sure you're completely satisfied with their work, they're very attentive and always make time to see you when you have an emergency or need to speak with them. Now going to the dentist is one of those things that I post about on Facebook because I always come back with a new story or a new joke to tell after my visit to Dr. Benito and Esmira. If you want to have a dentist that feels more like visiting a friend than getting work done, you need to try Dr. Benito. #mydentistisbetterthanyours!!!

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