Find Soothing Relief From Jaw Pain
Are you tired of the relentless jaw pain, clicking sounds, and limited mobility caused by TMJ disorder? It’s time to break free from the grip of this debilitating condition and reclaim your life. At Contos Smile Center, we’re your partners in finding effective solutions for TMJ treatment.
Dr. Contos is one of the best general dentists in Chicago, IL, for your oral health needs. Learn how our caring dentists can help you enjoy smiling again.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, acts as a hinge connecting your jawbone to your skull. It allows you to perform essential functions such as chewing, talking, and yawning. When this joint becomes inflamed or damaged, it can result in a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD or TMD). TMJ disorder often leads to various uncomfortable symptoms that affect your daily life.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder can manifest through various symptoms that can significantly impact daily life. It’s important to recognize these signs to seek timely treatment and find relief. Here are some common symptoms of TMJ disorder:
- Jaw Pain or Tenderness: Persistent pain or discomfort in the jaw joint or surrounding areas is a common symptom of TMJ disorder.
- Clicking or Popping Sounds: Some individuals may experience clicking, popping, or grating sounds when they open or close their mouths.
- Limited Jaw Movement: TMJ disorder can cause limitations in jaw mobility. Individuals may find it difficult to fully open or close their mouths, leading to discomfort and restricted oral function.
- Facial Pain and Headaches: TMJ disorder can cause facial pain, including discomfort in the cheeks, temples, or around the ears. Additionally, frequent headaches, especially in the temples or at the back of the head, may be associated with TMJ dysfunction.
- Ear-Related Symptoms: TMJ disorder can cause earaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or a feeling of fullness or pressure.
- Tooth Sensitivity: TMJ disorder can lead to tooth sensitivity, particularly when biting or chewing.
Causes of TMJ Disorder
The exact causes of TMJ disorder are not always straightforward, as multiple factors can contribute to its development. Understanding the underlying causes can help determine appropriate treatment approaches. Here are some common causes of TMJ disorder:
- Teeth Grinding and Clenching: Bruxism, the habitual grinding or clenching of teeth, can exert excessive pressure on the jaw joint, leading to TMJ dysfunction.
- Jaw Misalignment: An improper bite alignment or malocclusion can strain the jaw joint, potentially contributing to the development of TMJ disorder.
- Trauma or injury: Direct trauma or injury to the jaw joint, such as a blow to the face or a car accident, can disrupt the normal functioning of the temporomandibular joint, resulting in TMJ disorder.
- Arthritis: Certain forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the jaw joint and contribute to TMJ dysfunction.
- Stress and anxiety: Emotional stress and anxiety can cause individuals to clench their jaw or tighten facial muscles, increasing the risk of TMJ disorder.
- Genetics: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing TMJ disorder, with some individuals being more susceptible to jaw dysfunction.
- Poor Posture: Chronic poor posture, particularly in the neck and upper back, can strain the jaw joint and exacerbate TMJ symptoms.
Benefits of TMJ Disorder Treatment
Seeking professional TMJ disorder treatment can provide numerous benefits, improving both your comfort and oral health. Here are some advantages of undergoing TMJ disorder treatment:
- Pain relief
- Improved jaw function
- Improved oral health
- Reduction in jaw clicking and popping
- Tailored treatment approach
- Enhanced quality of life
Our TMJ Disorder Treatments
Non-Surgical Treatment for TMJ
In addition to the comprehensive care provided by Dr. Contos, there are various treatment options available to address TMJ disorder and alleviate its symptoms:
- Muscle Relaxants: To alleviate muscle tension and reduce jaw pain, muscle relaxants help relax the jaw muscles and provide relief from TMJ symptoms.
- Occlusal Appliances: Mouth guards or oral splints are custom-made devices worn over the teeth to prevent teeth grinding and clenching, reduce jaw muscle strain, and promote proper jaw alignment.
- Stress Management: Since stress is closely linked to TMJ disorder flare-ups, stress management techniques play a crucial role in treatment. Dr. Contos may recommend stress-reduction strategies to help manage stress and minimize TMJ symptoms.
Surgical Treatments for TMJ
In more complex cases, surgical solutions may be considered. These options include:
- Arthroscopy: Arthroscopy involves inserting a small camera into the joint to visualize the area and perform necessary interventions.
- Arthrotomy: Arthrotomy refers to open-joint surgery, which may be recommended in cases where TMJ disorder is caused by structural issues.
- Condylotomy: Condylotomy may be considered when patients report jaw locking as a result of TMJ disorder.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to treat TMD is with a personalized approach based on the underlying cause and individual needs. Your dentist will examine your oral health to determine the best treatment for your jaw pain.
While self-care practices can help manage mild TMJ symptoms, it’s best to seek professional treatment for proper diagnosis and effective management of TMJ disorders. Your dentist can provide personalized guidance and therapies to alleviate pain and restore comfort.
The duration of TMJ disorders can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the condition. In some cases, TMJ disorders may resolve with self-care measures and temporary interventions. However, chronic TMJ disorders may require long-term management and ongoing treatment to maintain comfort and prevent recurrence.
If left untreated, TMJ disorders can lead to persistent pain, discomfort, and limitations in jaw function. The symptoms may worsen over time and interfere with daily activities such as eating, speaking, and sleeping. Additionally, untreated TMJ disorders can contribute to dental problems, headaches, muscle tension, and other related issues. It is essential to seek professional TMJ treatment to prevent further complications.
Take the First Step to a Healthier and More Functional Jaw
Don’t let TMJ disorder disrupt your life any longer. Take the first step towards a future without jaw pain by reaching out to Contos Smile Center. For more information on TMJ or to schedule an appointment in our Chicago office, call (773) 973-0531. We serve patients in other Cook County areas, including Skokie, Bucktown, and East Pilsen, IL. Let us help you regain control of your oral health and well-being so you can live life to the fullest.
We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service and quality to our patient community by cultivating strong relationships, communicating thoughtful treatment solutions, and providing an enjoyable atmosphere, we can empower our patients to take ownership of their oral health.
We are committed to researching and offering state-of-the-art dental solutions in order to deliver the most advanced treatment options to our patients.