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John D. Michalak, DMD

General Dentist located in Branford, CT

If you’re experiencing chronic jaw pain or find it hard to open or close your mouth without pain, you may have a condition known as a TMJ disorder. At his Branford, Connecticut, practice, Dr. John D. Michalak offers diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders to alleviate your discomfort and pain and prevent additional medical complications. Schedule an evaluation online or by calling the office to learn more about TMJ disorder treatments.


What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are hinge-like joints that connect each side of your jaw to your skull. TMJ disorders affect these joints and cause pain and limited movement of your jaw joints and surrounding muscles. It’s possible to experience pain in one or both joints with TMJ disorders.

There are several factors that can cause TMJ pain, including injuries, genetics, and arthritis. You may also develop the disorder because you are prone to grinding or clenching your teeth, especially at night.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

You may experience TMJ disorder symptoms, like:

  • Tenderness or pain in your jaw and jaw joints
  • Aching pain or tenderness around your ear
  • Difficult and painful chewing

In some cases, TMJ disorders can cause your jaw joints to lock up and you find it difficult and painful to open or close your mouth properly.

With TMJ, you may also experience frequent clicking sounds when you move your mouth. This clicking can come with or without pain.

How is TMJ diagnosed?

If you suffer with pain while talking or chewing, or you find it hard to open or close your mouth without pain, you should schedule an evaluation with Dr. John Michalak. He can evaluate the position of your jaw and review your symptoms to determine if you have a TMJ disorder or other underlying medical condition.

Dr. Michalak may also use dental X-rays to get a closer look at your jaw joints and find out what is causing your joint pain.

What treatments are available for TMJ?

Dr. Michalak offers jaw repositioners and nociceptive trigeminal inhibition tension suppression systems (NTI) to alleviate TMJ disorders. NTI appliances are a type of mouthguard that prevents you from clenching your teeth to prevent jaw pain. The appliances also prevent premature wear and tear on your teeth and can even be effective in relieving migraine headaches associated with TMJ disorders.

You can use over-the-counter medications to relieve TMJ-related pain and inflammation. Cold or heat packs applied to your jaw can also help with your pain. Dr. Michalak can also provide you with simple exercises to stretch and strengthen your jaw muscles to prevent pain.

To learn more about TMJ treatments, schedule a consultation online or by phone.