TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Our doctors can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.

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Trouble With Your Jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TMJ joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Do You Have A TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does the pain get worst when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does you jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do you teeth meet differently when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth snsitive, loose, broken or worn?

The more times you answered “yes” the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.

Treatment

There are various treatment options that our doctors can utilize to improve the harmony and function of the jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, our doctors will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care joined with professional care.

The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasm and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steriodscan be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:

  1. Resting your jaw
  2. Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
  3. Eating soft foods
  4. Applying ice and heat
  5. Exercising you jaw
  6. Practicing good posture

Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint (or nightguard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night and helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relives pressure on parts of your jaw and aids in disk positioning. It may be worn 24 hours/day or just at night to move you jaw into proper position. Appliances also help to protect from tooth wear.

What About Bite Correction Or Surgery?

If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together, you may need treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Surgical options such as arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring are sometimes needed, but are seserved for severe cases. Our doctors do not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and nonreducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.

Meet Your Dentists

Dr. Danny Sarubin
Dr. Danny Sarubin
Dr. Danny enjoys comprehensive and complex treatment. He uses the latest technology to offer his patients the widest range of options and deliver the highest quality of care

Full Biography

Dr. Todd Sarubin
Dr. Todd Sarubin
Dr. Todd enjoys all forms dentistry. Specifically, Dr. Todd likes performing sedation dentistry, tooth replacement with implants, orthopedic orthodontics, and assisting in the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea

Full Biography

Dr. Mary B. Alexander
Dr. Mary B. Alexander
Periodontist, Dr. Alexander received her DDS degree at the University Of Maryland School Of Dental Surgery. She then attended Harvard University and earned her clinical specialty in periodontics and a doctorate in medical science.

Full Biography

Dr. Deborah Caruso-Apter
Dr. Deborah Caruso-Apter
Dr Caruso-Apter is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association and is a member of the Chesapeake Implant Study Club. Also, she volunteers at the Stanton Center in Annapolis where underprivileged individuals receive dental care.

Full Biography

What Sets Us Apart?

Experience

The professionals at Sarubin Family Dental are among the most skilled dental care teams in Baltimore area. Dr. Todd Sarubin, Dr. Danny Sarubin,  and Dr. Deborah Caruso-Apter apply their expertise and consult with one another for the unique benefit of the people they treat.

Comfort

Your ease at our practice is very important to us, whether that means a comfortable waiting room, painless treatment, or feeling informed about your care. Our doctors are happy to educate you about your treatment options and our staff is always gentle.

Convenience

Sarubin Family Dental offers appointments until 5pm Monday-Thursday. The use of advanced technology (like Cerec, Dexis Digital Imaging) allows the doctors to treat patients more efficiently. We also schedule same-day treatment for patients with emergency needs.

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Our friendly staff will work with your schedule.

A few words from our patients:

Everyone who works here, from the front desk, dental assistants, to absolutely everyone is so unbelievably friendly and make you feel so at ease. It’s wonderful! If you have a fear of the dentist and have been putting off going for years, go to Dr. Danny. You will not be disappointed!
Shannon S., YELP
At Sarubin Family Dental Associates I received excellent service, by extremely qualified personnel, with very friendly attituudes who were willing to take time to explain things to me in a way that I could understand. I am very thankful to everyone who works at Sarunin Family Dental Associates, and I will continue to recommend them to people that I know.
Ian D., GOOGLE
Very friendly, compassionate staff your greeted with a smile and by name when you come through the door. They go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable. I highly recommend this dentist!
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