Melvin H. Cohen, D.M.D. and Richard J. Finocchi, D.D.S. have extensive training in facial pain and jaw disorders and practice under the guidelines of the American Dental Association, and The National Institutes of Health.

  5454 Central Avenue, Suite C
St. Petersburg, FL 33707
(727) 327-0000
  Office Hours:
Monday through Friday 9:00-5:00
Late appointments are available
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What is TMJ?
TMJ is an abbreviation for Temporomandibular Joint. These two joints connect the lower jaw to the temporal area of the head. The lower jaw and the jaw joints are a complex system of cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, lubricating fluids, connecting cartilage discs and teeth. Click Here For Diagram

What are TMDs?
Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are often called "TMJ" by doctors, patients, and insurance companies, although the term TMJ actually refers only to the jaw joints themselves. TMD describes a group of disorders arising from an imbalance in the delicate working relationship of the jaw, skull, and muscles that move the jaw. This imbalance can result in pain, muscle fatigue, spasm, joint dysfunction, and changes in the teeth and bite, which can cause a variety of symptoms, unique for each person.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of TMD
Pain or tenderness in or around your jaw
Clicking sound or grating sensation when opening your mouth or chewing
Facial pain including muscle tenderness and or spasm
Pain in or around your ear
Difficulty chewing or discomfort while chewing
Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
Neck, shoulder or back pain
Other various symptoms

The Causes of TMD

TMDs can occur after trauma, such as a traffic accident or blow to the face. Even subtle repeated traumas, like clenching the teeth, excessive gum chewing, nail biting or cradling a phone between your shoulder and the side of your head can cause TMD. Systemic diseases and developmental abnormalities also can cause TMD.

Diagnosis of TMD
The examination begins with a thorough review of patient history, evaluation of the muscles and structures that control jaw movement. The temporomandibular joints are checked for tenderness, swelling and joint noises. Specialized x-rays of the TM joints, computed tomograpy, and bio-diagnostic testings are used to accurately examine bone irregularities, joint alignment and joint mobility.

* It is important for patients to be evaluated and begin treatment early. Early treatment of a TMD may avoid the progression to chronic pain.

Orthotics/Splint Therapy - an oral appliance that helps relax facial muscles and relieves stress in the jaw joint.
Physical/Massage Therapy - to relax the muscles and help restore normal functions of the musculoskeletal system.
Medication - for pain, inflammation and muscle relaxation.
Physical/Dietary Changes - to rest the jaw and facial muscles.
Surgery - when medically necessary

The TMJ Center is an approved provider for many insurance carriers, accepts most letters of protection, and Workers Compensation. For patients having no insurance coverage, financial arrangements can be made in advance.

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