3710 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60613

Don’t Let TMJ Disorder Interfere With Your Life

August 21, 2017

Are you constantly battling headaches or migraines?

Do you have a hard time chewing your favorite foods?

Do you wish you could talk or even yawn without pain or discomfort?

There are several factors that could be causing your nagging symptoms, but there’s one condition that’s often overlooked: TMJ disorder.

Fortunately, Dr. Michael Griffin with Northalsted Dental Spa has had advanced training in the diagnosis of TMJ disorders. He can help correctly diagnose your condition to avoid further confusion and discomfort.

If you experience pain related to jaw movement, you could be suffering from TMJ disorder.

What Is TMJ?

Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. are affected by temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction, yet the condition is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. TMJ is a condition that occurs when joint and/or the muscles near your jaw don’t work properly.

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Doctors will often use the term TMD, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. Your temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to your skull. The joint is what allows you to move your jaw, which is why it’s important that it works correctly and without pain.

Some factors that may contribute to TMJ include:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Jaw injuries
  • Infections
  • Arthritis
  • Teeth grinding
  • Frequent jaw clenching

Patients with TMJ will often grind their teeth and experience other painful symptoms that interfere with everyday activities like eating and talking.

If you think you might have TMJ, it’s important to see a trained specialist for treatment to avoid the long-term effects the condition may have on your oral health.

To discuss your symptoms and come up with a plan for relief, call our office at (773) 245-2779.

Symptoms Of TMJ/TMD

A common symptom patients with TMJ experience is pain in the area right in front of the ear. This pain can sometimes radiate to the neck or temples. The pain is usually brought on by moving your jaw or by nightly teeth grinding.

If you’ve noticed similar pain or any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign you’re suffering from TMJ disorder:

  • Tightness, tenderness, or pain in your jaw
  • Sensitivity or aching near your ear
  • Facial aching or tenderness
  • Tight, aching, or sore shoulders
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Difficulty moving the jaw
  • Lockjaw

Some patients also report clicking or popping of the jaw when the mouth is opened or closed.

Stress and TMJ Disorder

There’s no denying stress can have a major impact on your health. Did you know it can also affect your oral health?

We all handle stress differently. Some patients might find themselves grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw more than they used to as a result of the stress they’re feeling.

The sudden onset and severity of those actions can eventually lead to uncomfortable, even painful symptoms. If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms we mentioned above and think they could be related to stress, talk to your doctor about stress management techniques.

In the meantime, try to find different ways to better manage your stress to avoid causing potential harm to your mouth.

TMJ Disorder Treatment

Fortunately, there are several treatment options for patients with TMJ disorders.

  • Nightguard
    • Most patients can find relief from their symptoms using a night guard. What is a night guard? It’s an oral appliance you wear while you sleep to keep your jaw in a neutral position and help your jaw muscles relax. The guard also helps prevent teeth grinding. After taking an impression of your teeth, the staff at Northalsted Dental Spa can make a custom-fit night guard for you.
  • Botox
    • Botox is another treatment option for patients with TMJ symptoms. Botox can help relax the muscles in your jaw that are causing you pain. When injected into the jaw muscles, Botox can provide relief without limiting your regular activities.

TMJ Disorder Relief In Chicago, IL

Let us help you find relief from your symptoms. If you think you could be suffering from TMJ disorder, the knowledgeable staff at Northalsted Dental Spa can give you the information you need. In the meantime, try to relax as much as possible and apply a cold pack to the area if necessary. Some patients may also temporarily benefit from over-the-counter pain relievers.

In the meantime, call our office today at (773) 245-2779 for more permanent relief.

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