Shalman Dentistry


Your jaw isn’t supposed to snap, crackle and pop like your cereal. And you shouldn’t feel pain when you yawn or open your mouth to sing. But if you have what’s commonly called TMJ, you may be experiencing all those side effects. There are so many different factors that may contribute to your jaw condition that it’s best to rely on an expert like Dr. Alex Shalman in Downtown NYC for friendly, personalized care and treatment. He’s a TMJ specialist who runs a boutique dental practice. That means he can give you the time and attention you need to find the most effective treatment. Don’t suffer jaw pain needlessly; call Dr. Shalman for an appointment and get to the root of your pain quickly.

What Is TMJ?

TMJ is the acronym for the temporomandibular joint. You have two, one on each side of your head. They connect your lower jaw to your skull. A round bump on each side of your jaw fits into an indentation on the skull, and cartilage holds them in place. The joint functions like a sliding hinge and allows your mouth to open and close. With the help of your facial muscles, your temporomandibular joints allow you to yawn, chew and speak.

  • Dr. Alex Shalman is incredible – and I don’t put this lightly. I take my oral hygiene very seriously and Dr. Shalman was beyond thorough. He caught a tiny cavity between two teeth – I’m actually excited to see him again and have him work his magic! I trust him completely; you can tell from the way he speaks with you, how he approaches his assistant, and the diligence with which he works, that this is passion; he performs with integrity and honesty. His bedside manner is unparalleled, too – from sanitizer when I walked in, to asking what music I’d like to listen to, he truly considers every aspect of his client’s comfort. I cannot recommend him enough!

    Maegan Gindi

Whenever you have jaw pain or limitations in the flexibility of your jaw, you may have TMJ dysfunction. This condition impacts your quality of life because you don’t want to open your mouth or move your jaw. Don’t wait for it to get that bad; seek attention at the first sign of jaw pain. If you’re looking for a TMJ specialist in the New York City area, Dr. Alex Shalman is one of the best dentists for TMJ relief. His family dentistry practice in Downtown Manhattan is a boutique practice, which means he has the bandwidth to give you his complete attention. His primary focus is the health and functionality of your teeth, gums and jaw, and he’s passionate about his work.


What Causes TMJ Pain?

TMJ dysfunction is a collection of issues with your jaw joint. The end result is most often TMJ pain. This condition can result from a range of problems, including:

  • Malocclusion. This term refers to improper contact between your upper and lower teeth. It can cause headaches, indigestion and TMJ pain.
  • Jaw joint pain. Your pain may be due to a displaced joint disc, a dislocated jaw or another injury.
  • Soft-tissue dysfunction. Some kind of irritation in your facial muscles, which are responsible for chewing and moving your jaw, may cause something similar to TMJ pain.
  • Arthritis. This joint disease causes inflammatory or degenerative in the joint.

While the exact causes of TMJ pain aren’t always well understood, it sometimes results from trauma to the temporomandibular joint or the jaw bone itself. Since it’s more prevalent in women, there may be a link to female hormones. Although temporomandibular joint dysfunction often appears without any identifiable reason, it’s associated with people who clench their jaw or grind their teeth, a condition called bruxism.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction?

According to some estimates, more than 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders. Some of its symptoms include:

  • Clicking, crunching or popping noises when you open or close your mouth
  • Your jaw getting stuck either open or closed
  • A fatigued sensation in your face
  • An inability to open your mouth wide
  • Trouble chewing properly
  • An awkward alignment of your upper and lower jaw
  • Facial swelling or pain
  • Pain in your teeth, head or neck
  • Earaches or tinnitus
  • Dizziness

You may not experience all of these symptoms. Any one of them, when accompanied by jaw pain, is reason enough to seek out the services of Dr. Shalman in Lower Manhattan. He can diagnose and treat the issue for you.

How Is TMJ Dysfunction Treated?

Since invasive techniques like surgery are often irreversible, your Downtown Manhattan dentist usually recommends conservative TMJ treatments to start. These provide TMJ pain relief while avoiding any damage to your facial tissues or structure. conservative treatments include medications, such as:

  • Pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories are usually enough to provide TMJ relief, but Dr. Shalman can prescribe something more potent for a short period.
  • Antidepressants. Low doses of tricyclic antidepressants reduce pain, insomnia and bruxism.
  • Muscle relaxants. If your TMJ includes muscle spasms, short-term use of muscle relaxants delivers TMJ pain relief.

Non-pharmaceutical conservative therapies include:

  • TMJ mouth guard. Many people experience TMJ relief from a mouth guard or oral splint inserted over their teeth. You may need to wear it while you sleep or intermittently throughout the day.
  • Physical therapy. You may benefit from cold and heat applied to your jaw in combination with exercises to stretch and strengthen facial muscles.
  • Education. By learning about some of the habits that cause TMJ, such as teeth grinding or leaning on your chin, you can adjust your behaviors.

What if Conservative Treatments Fail?

If the more conservative methods are ineffective, your boutique New York City dentist may recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation. Botox injections into your jaw muscles may also relieve pain. Surgery is a last resort and is only recommended for cases that persist after conservative treatments.

While TMJ pain can make your life miserable, you don’t have to live with it. Find TMJ pain relief at the offices of your TMJ specialist, Dr. Shalman. He has years of experience treating the condition. Contact him today to set up your initial consultation. The earlier you begin treatment, the easier your recovery.

Page Updated on May 15, 2022 by Dr. Alex Shalman (Dentist) of Shalman Dentistry

Shalman Dentistry
44 W 10th St #1A
New York, NY 10011
(10th St, between 5th & 6th Avenue)
(212) 658-1093
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Shalman Dentistry