Are you suffering from pain in your jaw or the sides of your face? Do you find it difficult to open and close your mouth without pain? If you answered yes, then you may be suffering from a temporomandibular disorder, more commonly known as TMD. Patients with TMD experience pain and discomfort associated with their temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short. The temporomandibular joints are the two complex joints that connect your jaw to your skull.
Dr. Nechama Brand and Dr. Abraham Stein are downtown Chicago dentists who can help diagnose and treat mild cases of TMD. TMJ treatment can alleviate all the painful symptoms associated with TMD. They also offer restorative dentistry treatments to correct tooth damage caused by this disorder.
What is TMJ Disorder?
A TMJ disorder, or TMD, causes pain and dysfunction of the temporomandibular jaw joint. Patients with a TMJ disorder can feel jaw pain or myofascial (muscle) pain in the face. Sometimes this discomfort goes away on its own, but more often than not, long-term painful dental symptoms develop as a result of TMD.
Causes and Symptoms of TMD
Diagnosing TMD can be complicated. Finding the cause is also important but is equally difficult. Our dentists work one on one with each patient to determine the cause which will help find the right treatment and alleviate the pain. Sometimes, there are several reasons a patient suffers from a TMJ disorder. The most common causes of TMD we encounter include:
- An uneven bite
- Joint damage from an injury
- Cartilage damage from arthritis
- Any injury to the joint area
The signs of TMD can vary greatly from patient to patient. This is why we will engage in a conversation allowing you to discuss any and all of your bothersome symptoms. The most common signs of TMD that we often see include:
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Facial pain
- Severe toothaches
- Difficulty chewing
- Migraines or headaches
Health problems with similar symptoms may co-exist with TMJ disorders which is why it may be difficult to diagnose. These problems include chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disturbances, and fibromyalgia. Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, is one of the most common symptoms of TMD that is a risk factor for muscle pain in the face.
If you wake up with jaw pain or suffer from frequent headaches, you may have bruxism. Please contact our office for a consultation, where we will help you address facial pain. During an examination, your dentist will be able to see the signs of bruxism.
TMD/TMJ Treatment In Chicago
There is no single course of treatment for TMD. Depending on your symptoms and what is discovered in your exam, we may recommend one or several procedures. We recommend that patients eat soft foods, use ice packs, and take pain medications if they have mild TMD.
If teeth are worn down, broken, or damaged from TMJ, we offer dental crowns, porcelain veneers, and tooth bonding that also protect teeth and improve their appearance. We even treat the most severe patients with complex issues such as worn-down teeth or broken teeth. In these cases, we can successfully use dental implants to secure a dental bridge or denture when needed.
TMJ Disorder FAQs
Is a TMJ disorder serious?
TMD is not considered a dental emergency. However, this order can cause debilitating pain and damage to your teeth if ignored. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are often associated with TMD. These conditions will wear the teeth down and lead to cracked or chipped teeth. Restoring those teeth can be painful and costly.
What is the link between TMJ disorders and stress?
Some of our patients require TMJ treatment because they have arthritis or experienced an injury to the face. However, a vast majority of our patients need it because of their stress level or their ability to handle stress. High levels of stress often results in teeth grinding or jaw clenching. These continual actions will lead to a TMD diagnosis.
How is TMD diagnosed?
As experienced TMJ dentists in Chicago, Dr. Stein or Dr. Brand can diagnose TMD. It is important to relay all your TMJ symptoms to them. They will examine your teeth to look for signs of teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw. A series of questions will also be asked to determine if you need TMJ treatment.
Is TMD responsible for my headaches?
We treat a lot of patients that grind or clench their teeth while sleeping. They wake up suffering from headaches and pain without knowing what caused it. Frequent headaches are one of the most obvious signs of a TMJ disorder along with jaw popping or clicking and facial pain.
Contact Our Chicago, IL Dental Office
Do you suffer from frequent migraines, jaw popping, or teeth clenching and grinding? Call Premier Dental today for TMD diagnosis and treatment at 312-726-1901. You can also request a consultation with Dr. Brand and Dr. Stein on our website.