TMJ, Head Neck and
Facial Pain Treatment

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Source of your pain could be from an uneven bite

If you suffer from TMJ, headaches, neck or facial pain the source of your pain may be an uneven bite – That is, your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together quite right. This creates a conflict between your teeth and jaw joints that leads to teeth clenching and grinding and ultimately pain and damage.

75% of ALL head, neck, or facial pain is from muscles caused by bite problems.

Many people have head, neck, or facial pain due to a bite problem, but they don’t know it.  In an uneven bite, when the jaws are in a centered balanced position, only one tooth touches.

When teeth don’t fit together evenly most people will start to clench or grind their teeth.

Clenching and grinding leads to dental damage including worn or broken teeth as well as hyper muscle activity that can lead to head, neck, facial pain, and possible joint damage.

Diagnosis is the key to successful treatment.

If you have head, neck, and facial pain it might be due to a number of possible problems. Dr. Simon’s patented and FDA approved Best-Bite Discluder can tell you in minutes whether or not your pain is from an uneven bite.

DOES YOUR JAW MAKE CLICKING OR POPPING SOUNDS

Your jaw should open and close smoothly and straight with no bumps, clicks or cracking sounds if there is no damage in the joint. Clicking, popping and scratchy sounds in the jaw joints are proof positive that the joints have been damaged. That said, most of the time there is no pain associated with the jaw joint sounds so people often assume that nothing much is wrong, but that just isn’t true!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES & INFORMATION

Articles

The right information can help you better understand your situation.

FAQ's

The most frequently asked questions from our patients about TMJ, head, neck and facial pain.

Consultation Info

Coming to the office for a consultation? See how you can help make your visit most productive.

Testimonials

See what some of our actual patients have to say about finding relief from the pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the FAQ we’ve received from our patients. Have additional questions or concerns, call us: 203-883-4433

Headaches are a very broad category of problems and include dozens of potential causes. Dental causes of head, neck or facial pain could include cavities, abscessed teeth, gum infection, cysts, tumors of the jaw bones or swollen glands, broken or cracked teeth and TMJ dysfunction syndrome.

TMJ dysfunction is any pain that results from a conflict between the biting surfaces of the teeth and the jaw joints. It is only one specific problem that can occur with the jaw joint. Unless it can be proven that the pain is caused by a conflict between the teeth and jaw joint, it is not TMJ dysfunction.

It could be TMJ dysfunction, but it might not. The only way to be sure is to go to a dentist who has specific training in treating TMJ dysfunction and be tested. TMJ dysfunction is easy to misdiagnose and so you need to be sure the dentist has the pre-requisite training.

Often, a whiplash injury triggers TMJ dysfunction. Anyone who has had a whiplash injury should be screened for TMJ dysfunction if the pain from the injury does not clear up quickly.

Stress does not cause TMJ dysfunction. A conflict between the biting surfaces of the teeth and jaw joint is the cause. Stress can take a patient, who has been tolerating this discomfort, and reduce their tolerance to the point that the pre-existing dental condition begins to cause pain.

Earaches have nothing to do with your teeth or TMJ dysfunction. However, if you put your finger in your ear, you can see how close it is to your jaw joint and teeth. If you open and close your mouth while your finger is in your ear, you can actually feel your jaw joint move. As a result, what may feel like a ear ache may in fact be a jaw joint problem.

If the dentist has ruled out tooth problems, then you need to be checked for TMJ dysfunction by a dentist who is specifically trained in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ dysfunction. Most dentists have not had this training.

Braces are great but they have limitations. First, your teeth may be straight but there still could be a conflict between your teeth and jaw joints even after braces. Second, things may have shifted since the braces were taken off.

Actually NO Stress does not cause headaches any more than stress causes knee aches or elbow aches.  What stress might do is lower your tolerance for an uneven bite.  And if  you bite is uneven many people start to clench or grind their teeth and that results in muscle over activity and that can lead to pain.  You need to get checked by a dentist trained in TMJ dysfunction.

Most people who do grind their teeth don’t realize it. Look at your teeth very carefully to see if there is any wear that could be due to tooth grinding, even if you don’t think you are doing it.

TMJ dysfunction is the pain that results, and can be proven to be caused, by a conflict between the teeth and jaw joints. The pain is actually muscle pain or cramping from the jaw muscles. These jaw muscles wrap around the entire head.

A tooth infection could definitely cause headaches, particularly an infection in a molar tooth.

A wisdom tooth problem could definitely cause head pain.

A gum infection could also be the cause of head pain.

Because taking pain pills is not good for you.   They can damage your liver and stomach and most important, taking a pill to mask the pain of a headache does nothing to solve the problem. Symptoms can continue to worsen even if it doesn’t hurt. Many patients who wind up with severe jaw problems that may require major surgery started out as a TMJ problem caused by the bite that was not properly treated.

You need to find a dentist with specific training in diagnosing and treating TMJ dysfunction. Most dentists do not have this training so you will need to be very specific in questioning the dentist to determine their qualifications.

First you need to determine if your bite is THE PROBLEM,  If it is the problem, braces could be the solution but may not be needed. The objective is to eliminate the conflict between the teeth and the jaw joints. Treatment options include:

1) A bite splint which is a temporary measure

2) Reshaping the biting surfaces of the teeth (bite equilibration) which is a long term solution for eliminating the conflict.

3) If your bite is off too far for reshaping, (option 2) then braces may be part of the solution. The goal is for you to end up with an even bite,  not just straight looking teeth.

A bite guard, if it is properly made, will definitely take away pain that is due to TMJ dysfunction, as long as it eliminates the conflict between the teeth and the jaw joint. However, it only works when you are wearing it. As soon as you take the bite splint out, your bite goes back to where it was before, so it is not a long-term solution.

If a bite splint didn’t help, either it was not adjusted well enough to eliminate the conflict between the teeth and jaw joint or, if it was, your bite is not the problem.

The bite guards they sell in a sports store is designed to act as a cushion to protect your teeth in case of a blow to the face.  The TMJ bite splint is not designed to act as a cushion but rather as a substitute for an even bite.

This is like when you have a wobbly table in a restaurant. If the waiter puts the correct size matchbook under the leg of the table it stops the wobble. If the matchbook isn’t exactly the right size, the table  continues to wobble.  So the best case is that you have a temporarily stable table. However, whenever the matchbook is removed, the legs are still not equal and the table will wobble again.

Similarly a bite splint will correct the wobble in your bite whenever you wear it, however like the matchbook, it must be exactly the right fit for it to work properly. And when it is removed your uneven bite is still there. Thus, a bite splint is not truly a long-term solution. The long term solution is to shorten the legs of the table until they are all equal such that you don’t have to use a matchbook at all.  The equivalent of this is to even out the bite by equilibration.

Our Excellent Team and Amazing Patients

Real Cases, Real Headache Relief

These are a few of our real patients. They finally feel relief from their headache pain.

Our Patients Say it Best!

Hear our patients tell their real story

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When I came to dental care of Stamford I was seen by doctor Simon, Stacy, and Mimi. They really care about you and treat you like more than just a patient! The whole staff is amazing! Mimi is a phenomenal human being and is truly the reason I keep coming back!!! A big thanks to the whole staff! I can’t wait to have my next visit!
carolina rivera
carolina rivera
17:14 02 Nov 21
I came in with a very high fear of the dentist along with sensory issues. Dr Simon, Paula, and Jules were all fantastic and very warm and welcoming. I had my first treatment with ease, and now feel much more comfortable doing my next cleaning.
Kathleen Burkhardt
Kathleen Burkhardt
20:15 26 Oct 21
My wife had been going to this dentist and I was going to a different dentist. I had never been to her dentist's office. I had to go with her for an emergency with one of her teeth. As soon as I walked in I was impressed. The faculty...the office....the atmosphere are very welcoming. Everyone is super nice. I immediately switched dentists and couldn't be happier. From Paula to Christy to all the Dentists and employees in this office make this place a keeper. I'll be a patient for the rest of my life.
Ron Rogell
Ron Rogell
17:20 21 Oct 21
I was referred to Dental Care Stamford by my girlfriend and it was the best decision I have made in awhile. Mimi helped me along the way with everything I needed to do get me on track of a healthy mouth. I don't have insurance so having a couple options made me feel comfortable in deciding a plan that best fits me. The whole staff made feel at home and welcomed me with open arms. I also like that they are very flexible with scheduling which was very important today. I would recommend 10/10
Michael Miller
Michael Miller
13:59 14 Oct 21
A few weeks ago, I had an emergency and had to call for an appointment. I was experiencing so much pain. Given my circumstances, I was not able to go to the dentist in over 10 years. I was immediately scheduled to meet with Dr. Simon, who showed a genuine concern for my dental health. I felt very safe and relieved to have a dentist who really wanted to help.During my initial visit, I found out that I had all these other complications. However, Paula, a treatment coordinator at the practice, had helped me so much in creating a plan that really worked for me. She would walk me through all my procedures and would check in with me whenever I visited, even when we were not scheduled to meet. She has ALWAYS looked out for me.Joanne, one of the hygienists at the practice, was very thorough and patient with me. She also cracks me up.The folks at the front desk, as well as all the dental assistants, were very courteous, patient, kind, and funny. I left every appointment feeling so much better.Everyone made me feel comfortable and welcome. I definitely recommend this practice to anyone who is looking for a great dental care experience.
Giovanni H
Giovanni H
22:39 23 Sep 21
Everyone was amazing! Making the appointments for my family was so easy the staff was friendly and helpful. The hygienists were careful and thorough. The Dr. Patel was nice and gave clear information. We have found our new Dentist!
Heidi Aishman
Heidi Aishman
19:13 02 Sep 21
I love this office. The staffs and Dr.Simon are very warm welcoming and accommodating to all your needs. Super friendly, I came to the right place!!! This office is very well organized and clean. Worth the visit to come here and I am currently living in Bronx. This office is a great place for any service you need done with dental work. Highly recommended for friends and family.
Goldie Mendoza
Goldie Mendoza
12:44 10 Aug 21
Very professional and courteous. Explained everything from start to finish. Very upfront about cost and very patient with all my questions. Made me feel important and not just another patient with a wallet. Staff are Freaking Awesome!!!!!
Steven Johnson
Steven Johnson
14:58 30 Jan 21
This is the best place I could have brought my mom, Dr. Denise and Mimi were a great help to us. They helped us with a financial plan that fit our budget. They are simply the best. 100% recommended.
Jenn MM
Jenn MM
14:05 11 Nov 20

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