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Neuromuscular Dentistry - TMJ FAQ

TMJ Jaw Joint Pain Ask The Dentist John Purpura Question:
Last May, a huge piece of the biting surface of my lower left second molar broke off (no wisdoms). As a result of that, I was diagnosed with TMJ.

Went to several TMJ specialists, but did not get the appropriate diagnosis. I live in NYC, and would greatly appreciate someone giving me advice on who to see? ....Visitor from New York

Answer:
The diagnosis of TMJ is used as an umbrella for many different disorders. Basically the TMJ is a joint with two bones that move by muscles and have a cushion device between them. In this case it is both cartilage and a fibrous disc. You should be able to have a more accurate diagnosis like muscle joint disc, occlusion, etc..

With the description that you gave, the tooth that broke may have been caused by many reasons. There could have been a cavity, an old filling, or stress that hit the tooth just at the right angle (similar to a small rock hitting the windshield of a car and breaking the glass, often times big rocks can hit the glass with no result, but at the right angle the glass breaks).

There are many doctors who work in the TMJ field. Going through one of the schools like Columbia University, you should be able to find the help you need.

John Purpura, DDS






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